Israel’s Attack on Iran: Updates, Reactions, and Analysis

2024-04-19 05:46:27

Caption, Iranian authorities had warned that any attack would be responded to.

  • Author, Writing
  • Role, BBC News World
  • April 19, 2024, 02:43 GMT

    Updated 1 hour

Israel launched an attack on targets in Iran this Friday morning (local time), according to reports.

The American channel ABC reported that an official from that country told it that an Israeli missile hit Iran, and two American officials confirmed it to CBS, a BBC partner.

However, the spokesman for Iran’s National Cyberspace Center, Hossein Dalirian, denied that there had been a missile attack.

“There have been no air strikes from outside the borders towards Isfahan or other parts of the country,” he wrote on his X account.

He added that Israel “had only made one failed and humiliating attempt to fly quadcopters [drones] and the quadcopters have also been shot down.”

The Israeli military has so far declined to comment.

However, two Israeli and three Iranian officials confirmed the attack on The New York Times.

According to that publication, the Iranians said that the attack had hit near a military base near Isfahan.

Three loud explosions were heard in that cityin the center of the country and located about four hours by car or 350 kilometers south of Iran’s capital, Tehran, according to state press.

The attack occurs less than a week after Iran launched an offensive with more than 300 drones and missiles against Israel, which that country repelled with the Iron Dome, its anti-missile defense system, and the support of allied countries such as the United States. .

Iranian state television reported that three drones were observed over the sky over Isfahan around 00:30 GMT and were destroyed after the country’s air defense system was activated, according to Reuters.

Iran’s Fars news agency reported that an explosion occurred near the city’s airport.

Isfahan province is home to a large air base, a major missile production complex and several nuclear sites.

“Isfahan is really very much the center of the Iranian nuclear program in terms of training, research and, what some would say, the development of Iranian nuclear capability,” former US deputy secretary of state Mark Kimmitt told the BBC.

“So it is a likely place that Israel would attack because the biggest fear that Israelis have is not that they will continue using missiles today but a nuclear capability tomorrow,” he added.

The state news agency IRNA reported that the country’s air defense systems were activated in several provinces.

The BBC Persian service reported that it was sent several videos filmed by Isfahan residents during the early hours of the morning.

In a video posted on the BBC Persian service’s Instagram account, you can hear the sound of what appears to be anti-aircraft artillery.

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“There has been no attack”

Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB said, citing “reliable sources,” that the “loud sounds heard in several regions of the country were the result of the activation of air defense to counter several unidentified mini-drones“.

He added that the Isfahan nuclear facilities were “completely safe.”

From Iran there was a direct denial of a missile attack against that country by the spokesperson for the country’s National Cyberspace Center.

Hossein Dalirian wrote in

Dalirian said Israel “only made a failed and humiliating attempt to fly quadcopters [drones] and the quadcopters were also shot down.”

Flights over the cities of Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran were suspended for a few hours.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi had warned on Wednesday that Israel would see a “massive and harsh” response to the “smallest invasion.”

In the hours before Friday’s reports, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian warned that his country’s response to any retaliation by Israel would be “immediate and at the highest level.”

Amirabdollahian made the comments during an interview on CNN on Thursday.

An Israeli attack that appears to be very limited in size and scope

Analysis by Frank Gardner, BBC security correspondent

Israel made it clear that it would respond, in some way, to Iran’s “swarm” drone and missile attack last weekend, and now it appears it has done so.

If this is truly the beginning and end of Israel’s response, then it appears to be very limited in size and scope.

Isfahan this morning seems normal.

All week, Israel’s Western allies, particularly the United States and Britain, have implored its government not to carry out a forceful response to the Iranian missile attack.

Although this was a dramatic escalation, it was itself retaliation for Israel’s unprecedented airstrike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus on April 1, which killed 13 people, including two high-ranking generals.

How this plays out from now on will depend on two things: whether that is the end of Israel’s attack and whether Iran now decides to counterattack.

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