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Iran says concluded retaliatory strikes on occupied territories, warns against Israeli response

This video grab from AFPTV taken on April 14, 2024 shows explosions lighting up the sky in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank during an Iranian attack on the occupied territories. (Photo by AFP)

The chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, says Iran has concluded its retaliatory strikes on the occupied territories, warning of a “stronger” reaction if the Israeli regime responds.

"The operation is over from our point of view, but the armed forces are ready and we will act if necessary,” Baqeri said Sunday morning.

His remarks came hours after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched extensive missile and drone strikes against the occupied territories in response to Israel’s deadly attack on the Iranian diplomatic premises in Syria early this month. 

Baqeri downplayed the extent of the operation compared to what Iran is capable of, saying that it was merely a punishment and the country’s response to any further military action by the Israeli regime “will be much greater.”

“The reason for this operation was the crossing of [Iran’s] red line by the Zionist regime, which cannot be tolerated in any way for us,” he asserted.

Overnight on Saturday and early Sunday morning, Iran launched hundreds of retaliatory missiles and drones at targets in the occupied territories.

The attack came less than two weeks after Israeli warplanes bombed the consular annex of Iran's embassy in the Syrian capital, killing seven IRGC members who were on an advisory mission to the Arab country.

Iran hit a large intelligence base in the occupied lands and Israel’s Nevatim Airbase, from where an F-35 jet took off to target Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Baqeri said, adding that both sites were “significantly destroyed and disabled” in the retaliatory operation.

He also noted that the attack “reached its goals” as the regime’s so-called Iron Dome system failed to significantly deal with the Iranian missiles and drones.

“We were capable of conducting an operation against the regime 10 times bigger than this one, but we tried to keep it at the level of a punishment and did not target populated and economic centers,” the top general stated.

He further expressed the full readiness of the Iranian Armed Forces to defend the country’s soil and interests.

The US gave Israel “green light” for its terrorist attack against Iran’s consulate in Syria, Baqeri said. Tehran conveyed a message to Washington through the Swiss embassy that if it participated “in the Zionists’ future aggressive moves, and that if this is proven to us, American bases and forces across in the region will have no security”.

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