US told Iran it had no involvement or advance knowledge of consulate strike in Syria, US official says



Washington
CNN
 — 

The United States told Iran it was not involved and had no advance knowledge of Monday’s strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, a US official said.

The communication comes amid concern about the war between Israel and Hamas widening to a broader regional conflict. Iran has vowed retaliation after a strike it blamed on Israel killed two of its top commanders and five others at its consulate in Syria.

“The United States had no involvement in the strike and we did not know about it ahead of time,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.

The US has “communicated this directly to Iran,” the US official said.

Axios first reported the US communication to Iran.

On Monday, the State Department said the US was gathering more information about Monday’s strike in Damascus but expressed concerns about any further regional conflict.

“Before we have gathered information about what exactly this was, I don’t want to speak to it, specifically, but of course we were always concerned about anything that would be escalatory or cause an increase in conflict in the region,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has widely held the US responsible for the attack and said “the United States should be answerable.” Amir-Abdollahian said Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss chargé d’affaires in Tehran early hours Tuesday local time to discuss the incident, given Switzerland’s role in representing US interests in Iran.

The US has accused Iran of supporting proxy attacks on US and Western targets since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. In January, a drone attack killed three American soldiers at a US outpost in Jordan, which the US attributed to the Iran-backed umbrella group Islamic Resistance in Iraq, though the incident caught Tehran by surprise and worried political leadership there, officials told CNN at the time, citing US intelligence.



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