Friday, May 24, 2024

IRGC warns Israel attacks ‘won’t go unanswered’ as Iran marks Al-Quds Day

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Iran is marking Al-Quds Day with rallies across the country as the commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) promised retaliation after Israeli strikes on Iran’s consulate in Syria.

The Israeli air strikes in Damascus killed 13 people, including seven IRGC members – among them two generals leading the Corps’ Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon.

“We warn that no action by any enemy concerning our holy establishment [the Islamic Republic] will go unanswered,” Hossein Salami told a state-organised gathering of thousands in the capital Tehran on Friday to chants of “death to America” and “death to Israel”.

He said Israel is facing nothing but “defeat” in its war on Gaza regardless of whether it keeps attacking or retreats, adding that messages coming from Palestinian fighters in the enclave say “we will bury the Zionist regime in Gaza.”

“The Zionists and their American backers believe that the more they kill Muslims and besiege and displace them, the better their lives will be, but the reality is the exact opposite.”

State television showed top government, judiciary and military officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi and Quds Force leader Esmail Qaani, walking among demonstrators in Tehran and cities across the country.

Many of the rallies were marked by heavy losses suffered by Iranian armed forces in the past week.

In central Tehran, there was a large funeral procession for IRGC members killed in Syria, shortly after their bodies were returned to Iran and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prayed over them – as he did for Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January 2020.

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