Reports: Israel attacks military base in central Iran

Reports: Israel attacks military base in central Iran

April 19 (UPI) — Israel launched an attack against Iran early Friday with state-run media reporting explosions near a military base in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

At least three blasts were heard near the military base, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported, stating air defense systems were activated in response to “a small suspicious object” flying over the northeastern city.

Second Brig. Gen. Siavash Mihandoost told the official Islamic Republic News Agency that the city’s air defenses fired at a suspicious object and that no damage has been reported.

The scale of the attack was not immediately clear as the senior military official appeared to downplay reports of a larger Israeli attack.

Citing several unnamed Israeli and Iranian officials, The New York Times reported that the explosions in Isfahan were from an Israeli military strike. CNN also reported that Israel attacked Iran early Friday, citing two U.S. officials, including one who said the United States was given advance notice.

“Feeble!” far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said on X, responding to the scale and scope of the Israeli strike.

The Biden administration has yet to comment, but the U.S. Embassy in Israel in response restricted travel of U.S. government employees and their family members to greater Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, confirmed that Iran’s nuclear facilities in Isfahan were not damaged in the supposed attack, while its director general, Rafael Mariano Grossi, reiterated his call for “extreme restraint.”

“Nuclear facilities should never be a target in military conflicts,” the IAEA said in a statement, adding that it was “monitoring the situation very closely.”

According to the Nuclear Threat Initiative global security organization, Isfahan is home to the Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center, Iran’s largest nuclear research complex.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations also issued a warning to ships transiting the Arabian Gulf and Western Indian Ocean that there may be an increase in drone activity following reports of the strike in Iran.

“There are currently no indications commercial maritime vessels are the intended target,” the advisory said. “Masters are requested to report any suspicious activity.”

Israel had threatened retaliation for an airborne strike launched from Iranian territory Saturday night. Some 300 rockets and drones were launched at Israel by Iran and its proxy militias from multiple locations, including Iraq and Syria. The vast majority of the projectiles were intercepted, though a 7-year-old Israeli Bedouin girl was injured.

Iran’s attack was, it said afterward, retaliation for an April 1 airstrike in Syria that killed several of its high-ranking military officials that it blamed Israel for.

The tit-for-tat strikes represented a significant escalation in the conflict between the two countries, who have been feuding for decades but which exploded into the open since Iran-backed Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and the ensuing war.

Iran’s proxies of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and the Houthis in Yemen, emboldened by the conflict, became involved with the former targeting Israel directly and the latter striking international shipping in the Red Sea.

Iran’s weekend attack marked the first time it directly attacked Israel.

Amid the escalating attacks and rhetoric between Israel and Iran, the United States has called for restraint, and responded to Iran’s attack on Israel with a fresh round of sanctions.

Authored by Upi via Breitbart April 18th 2024