Israeli Missiles Reportedly Strike Airbase In Central Iran

Published 1 month ago
By Forbes | Siladitya Ray
Iranian official TV confirms ‘massive explosions’ in central Isfahan province
A man watches TV reporter in Tehran, Iran after Iranian official TV confirms 'massive explosions' in central Isfahan province, as US officials confirm Israel carried out strike inside Iran, on April 19, 2024. (Photo by Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu via Getty Images)

TOPLINE

The Israeli military reportedly launched airstrikes targeting Iran early on Friday, in response to Tehran’s drone attack on its territory over the weekend, amid concerns about escalation between the two Middle Eastern nations.

KEY FACTS

Citing unnamed Iranian officials, the New York Times reported the strikes hit an airbase near the city of Isfahan in central Iran, while an unnamed “senior U.S. official” told ABC News that Israel had launched a missile strike against Iran.

The Iranian state controlled Fars News Agency also reported explosions being heard near the Isfahan airport, but an official later told the state media that explosions were caused by air defense batteries firing at a suspicious object.

Advertisement

On Iranian state TV, however, the country’s officials publicly dismissed reports of the strike, calling it “Israeli and American media propaganda” and denied that an emergency meeting of the Supreme National Security Council had been convened.

According to Bloomberg, Israel had informed the U.S. officials on Thursday about its plan to carry out a strike on Israel in the following 24-48 hours.

Sources cited by several outlets referred to the retaliatory attacks as “limited” while a retired military general appearing on Israel’s Channel 12 said he believed it was a “symbolic attack” that may not force a response by the Iranians.

The Israeli military has refused to comment on reports of the attack so far.

Advertisement

TANGENT

Real time air traffic data on FlightRadar24 showed several airplanes diverting away from Iran just after the strikes were reported. FlightRadar24 then reported that Iranian authorities had issue a notification informing pilots that the airports in Isfahan, Shiraz and the national capital Tehran were closed. Budget Emirati carrier Fly Dubai confirmed receiving the notification and announced the cancellation of its flights to Iran. The notices of closure at all three airports were lifted a few hours later.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

An unnamed Israeli official cited by the Washington Post said the attack “was intended to signal to Iran that Israel had the ability to strike inside the country.”

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The extent of the damage from the attack remains unclear. Iranian authorities said nuclear facilities located near Isfahan were safe. The International Atomic Energy Agency also confirmed this while calling for restraint and saying “nuclear facilities should never be a target in military conflicts.”

KEY BACKGROUND

On Wednesday, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi warned that any military incursion by Israel would be met with a severe response. Over the weekend, Iran launched hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles targeting Israeli territory in an unprecedented attack. Israel claimed the strikes resulted in only minor damages as its military—along with U.S. and other allied forces in the region—were able to shoot down 99% of the missiles and drones. Iran said its attack was in response to an Israeli airstrike on its diplomatic compound in Damascus that resulted in the deaths of 16 people—including two senior military leaders.

Advertisement