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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Erdogan blames Israel for Iranian attack

Western hypocrisy helped bring about an escalation, the Turkish leader has said

Iran’s first direct attack on Israel is the fault of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first and foremost, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

In a televised address after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, Erdogan said it was unfair to look at last Saturday’s events in a vacuum.

“The one chiefly responsible for the tension that gripped our hearts on the evening of April 13 is Netanyahu and his bloody administration,” he said.

Read more: Iranian media names weapons used to strike Israel

“Since October 7, the Israeli government has opted for provocative moves in order to spread the fire to the entire region. The Israeli government targeted the Iranian consulate in Damascus, violating international law and the Vienna Convention, and that was the last straw,” added Erdogan.

Tehran’s diplomatic mission was struck on April 1, killing seven high-ranking officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two generals. Israel never officially claimed responsibility for the strike, but has repeatedly bombed Syria, claiming preemptive self-defense from the Iranian presence there.

We have seen the double-standard approach of Western countries,” Erdogan said, pointing out that only a handful of countries condemned Israel’s move, but rushed to denounce Iran’s response.

Tehran eventually launched scores of drones and missiles against targets inside Israel. The US, UK, France and Jordan helped the Israelis with air defense but some of the projectiles got through, causing unspecified damage.

Read more: Israel shows aftermath of Iranian attack on airbase (VIDEO)

Erdogan also blamed Israel for the current conflict in general, saying its forces have “indiscriminately” killed tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including people standing in line for humanitarian aid.

“For more than 132 days, Israel has been implementing genocidal policies,” the Turkish leader claimed.

Netanyahu declared war on Gaza-based Hamas after the Palestinian militant group raided nearby Israeli villages and military bases last October. Much of Gaza has since been reduced to rubble and its civilian population pushed to the edge of starvation. A recent report by UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur Francesca Albanese has accused Israel of intending to commit genocide in the enclave.