conference in Tehran, Bahram Qassemi said “the aggression on Syrian soil was illegal” and emphasized that the Israeli attack will not go unanswered this time. “Israel will receive the required responses sooner or later,” he told at the briefing. “They cannot take (such) an action and be exempt from punishment,” he added. “The time for hit and run has passed for Israel, and the resistance forces in the region are capable of retaliating fittingly.” The spokesman also said Tehran is considering legal action against Israel, but did not elaborate. 

Comment: The April 8 Israeli strikes on Syria’s T-4 airbase have increased the possibility of a showdown between Iran and Israel in Syria. At least seven Iranian military servicemen were killed, including a Revolutionary Guards colonel who led the drone operations unit in the base. Since the incident took place, several Iranian officials and leaders of Iranian-backed militia groups in the region have threatened to retaliate against Israel. During his trip to Damascus, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said the Israeli “crime will certainly not go unanswered”. 

Qassemi’s remarks indicate that Tehran will most likely retaliate against Israel through its regional proxies rather than launching a direct attack against Israel. But the heightening tension, whether by design or miscalculation, could lead to a direct confrontation between the two countries.