Israel warned on Wednesday that anyone who tries to strike them “will be met with a strong defense,” after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to retaliate against Israel over the attack on its Syrian consulate earlier this month.

“We know how to respond quickly and decisively to the territory of whoever attacks our territory – no matter where that may be in the Middle East,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. “Over the years, we have been known to prepare surprises for our enemies.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz issued similar warnings Wednesday, saying his country’s forces would strike Iran directly if the Islamic Republic launched an attack from its territory against Israel.

“If Iran attacks from its territory, Israel will respond and attack in Iran,” Katz said in a post on X in both Farsi and Hebrew.

Khamenei made his remarks at a prayer ceremony celebrating the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, saying the April 1 strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus was akin to an attack on Iranian territory.

The strike killed 12 people, including Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior figure in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard who led the group’s elite Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria until 2016.

“When they attacked our consulate area, it was like they attacked our territory,” Khamenei said, in remarks broadcast by Iranian state TV. “The evil regime must be punished, and it will be punished.”

Israel has not acknowledged its involvement, though it has been bracing for an Iranian response to the attack, a significant escalation in their long-running shadow war. The U.S. and its allies have issued similar warnings of a possible retaliatory strike from Iran.

A report from Iran’s state-funded Mehr news agency briefly appeared on X earlier Wednesday concerning airspace over Tehran being closed for “military drills.” That report was later removed and the agency denied it ever publishing it, according to Reuters.

The escalation of words comes days after the war between Israel and Hamas entered its seventh month. Israeli forces have been fighting Hamas after the Iran-backed terrorist group stormed Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking around 250 more hostages.

Per the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza, Israel is responsible for the deaths of more than 33,000 Palestinians, though the ministry does not distinguish between civilians and enemy combatants. Israel has disputed these figures.

Source » foxnews