By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippine government has expressed its “profound concern” over a recent airstrike that hit Iran’s consulate in Syria and killed seven, including diplomats.

The consulate, located next to the Iran Embassy’s main building in Damascus, was struck by a missile attack on April 1, which was widely attributed to Israel.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Philippine Embassy in Iran emphasized that the sanctity of foreign embassies and missions must be respected at all times.

“The Philippines expresses its profound concern over the attack on the Iranian Embassy in Syria resulting in seven casualties. Diplomatic missions and their corresponding locations are sacrosanct, as well as the safety of diplomats and their families,” it said.

“This principle should be upheld at all times by every law-abiding nation, particularly during periods of history when the work of diplomats is absolutely vital in the pursuit of peace.”

It called on all parties to “de-escalate tensions” and “work earnestly with international partners to swiftly and peacefully resolve this crisis.”

Iran earlier reported that seven missile airstrikes from the occupied Golan Heights “targeted” its diplomatic premises in Damascus, including the consular section building and the ambassador’s residence.

Alongside the destruction of the consular building, the embassy’s administrative areas also suffered significant damage due to the explosions, it reported.

Iran has threatened to retaliate, with its top diplomat in Syria Hossein Akbari warning its response would be “at the same magnitude and harshness” as the airstrike.

Israel has not confirmed that it was behind the attack. (PNA)