Islamic regime's leader, Ali Khamenei looks at the coffins of members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who were killed in the Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy complex in the Syrian capital Damascus, during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran April 4, 2024. REUTERS./

 – Iran held a funeral on Friday for seven officers killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in Syria this week, an unprecedented attack for which Tehran has vowed to take revenge.

State television showed demonstrators carrying pictures of those killed and banners with slogans such as “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”.

The funeral coincided with the annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day, during which Iran stages large state-sponsored pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel rallies nationwide.

The leader of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhala, took part in the rally in Tehran, Iranian media reported.

Among those killed in Monday’s airstrike on the Iranian embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus was one of Iran’s top soldiers, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).

It was the boldest, and deadliest, in a series of attacks that have killed Iranian officials in Syria since December.

Iran vowed harsh retaliation, raising the spectre of a wider war and prompting the Israeli armed forces to suspend leave for all combat units on Thursday, a day after they said they were mobilising more troops for air defence units.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday his country would harm “whoever harms us or plans to harm us”.

The Champion of Death

The coffins of two of the killed officers were displayed in the capital, Tehran, to religious mourning chants. Some of those present waved the Palestinian flag. All seven officers were expected to be buried later on Friday.

Iran’s Jerusalem Day rallies are held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in support of Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state in territories captured by Israel in a 1967 war.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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