Iran officials: Retaliation for Damascus strike will be ‘limited, aimed at deterrence’

Two Iranian officials indicate Tehran will not veer from the approach it has adopted since October of avoiding direct conflict with Israel and the United States, while simultaneously backing allies who have hit Israel, US troops and Red Sea shipping in attacks they say aim to support Palestinians in Gaza amid the ongoing war.

The comments come after both Iran and its Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah vowed retaliation against Israel for a Monday attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus, in which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ most senior official in Syria, along with his deputy, five other IRGC officers and at least one member of the Hezbollah terror group died.

One of the Iranian officials, a senior source, tells Reuters that Tehran was compelled to give a serious response to prevent Israel from repeating such attacks or escalating.

But the level of retaliation will be limited and aimed at deterrence, the official says, without elaborating.

The public relations office of the IRGC — a US-designated terrorist organization — declined to comment.

Israel has not publicly commented on or claimed responsibility for the attack.

The war in Gaza erupted after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, mostly civilians, many amid horrific acts of brutality and sexual assault.

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