TEHRAN (Agencies): Iran’s central Isfahan province was shaken by explosions on Friday, as reported by state media. U.S. officials informed American media that Israel had executed a retaliatory strike against Iran.

This attack occurred less than a week after Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles in its first direct assault on Israeli soil. This unprecedented attack was a response to an earlier strike in Syria, which was largely attributed to Israel.

The escalating exchange between the two adversaries has led global powers to call for restraint, urging both sides to prevent the Gaza war’s underlying tensions from spiraling into a broader Middle East conflict.

Here’s what we know about the reported strike in Iran:

  • Target of the Strike:

On early Friday, Iran’s Fars news agency reported “three explosions” near the Shekari army airbase in the northwest of Isfahan province. Iran’s space agency spokesman, Hossein Dalirian, stated that several drones had been shot down, and there was “no missile attack for now.”

An anonymous U.S. official informed CNN that the Israeli strike’s target inside Iran was non-nuclear. Iran’s Tasnim news agency assured that the “nuclear facilities in Isfahan province are completely secure.” Citing informed sources, Tasnim also refuted claims that Iran had been attacked from abroad. Additionally, explosions were reported in southern Syria by a local activist group.

  • Iran’s Response:

In response to the strike, air defense systems were activated over several Iranian cities, as reported by state media. Flights to Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz were suspended, along with airports in several parts of the country, according to the Mehr news agency.

Commercial flights were observed avoiding western Iran, including Isfahan, and bypassing Tehran to the north and east. A flydubai plane en route to Tehran had to return to Dubai after Tehran’s airport was closed, as stated by the Emirati airline.

On Friday morning, Iranian television broadcasted normal road traffic at a roundabout in Isfahan. The official IRNA news agency reported “no major damage” following the explosions.

  • Reason for the Strike”

Since the outbreak of the Gaza war in October, Iran-backed armed groups across the region have launched attacks on Israel. Both Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Palestinian militant group Hamas receive support from Iran.

However, the recent direct exchanges between Israel and Iran have entered uncharted territory. In retaliation for a deadly attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, widely blamed on Israel, Tehran fired hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel. Israel had pledged to respond to the onslaught, which was largely intercepted and resulted in no fatalities.

Just hours before Friday’s explosions in Iran, the foreign minister warned that Israel would “regret” any attack on his country. During a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East on Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian labeled Iran’s weekend barrage a “legitimate defense” and urged Israel to “cease any further military adventurism.”

  • Reactions to the Strike:

When asked about reports of explosions and strikes in Iran and Syria, Israel’s military told AFP on Friday that they had “no comment at this time.” The White House and Pentagon have not yet commented.

Several U.S. media outlets reported that Washington had been notified in advance of Israel’s strikes but had neither endorsed the operation nor participated in its execution.

By Media

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