NewsIran secures nuclear sites after drone attack, Israel silent on involvement

Iran secures nuclear sites after drone attack, Israel silent on involvement

Iron Dome launcher in Israel from 2014 / Illustrative photo
Iron Dome launcher in Israel from 2014 / Illustrative photo
Images source: © East News | Ziv Koren

5:53 AM EDT, April 19, 2024

Explosions occurred over Iran, with media reporting an Israeli "quadcopter" drone attack. Anti-aircraft defense systems were activated in response. According to Iranian media linked to the Revolutionary Guard, the country's nuclear facilities have been secured.

Early morning in Iran was disrupted by explosions, sparking reports from Israeli media about the attack. Despite this, an Iranian official, in a discussion with Reuters, refuted these claims yet acknowledged that the blasts resulted from anti-aircraft defenses targeting "suspicious objects" near Isfahan.

Several areas in Iran, including Isfahan and Tabriz, saw their defense systems activated. Major airports in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, and other western regions temporarily halted flights. Tehran's Khomeini airport urged people to evacuate, leading to the cancellation of all incoming flights. Consequently, at least eight aircraft were rerouted away from Iranian airspace.

The current situation appears stable. Air traffic is gradually resuming, and cities impacted by the attacks are returning to normalcy. Iranian media are attempting to reassure the public, showcasing videos from industrial and security cameras in Isfahan, where everything seems undisturbed.

Nuclear facilities remain "safe"

In Isfahan, not only is the main airbase of the Iranian military located, but also key elements of its nuclear program. Hossein Dalirian, a spokesperson for Iran's civilian space initiative, reported on the X platform that several small "quadcopter" drones were intercepted.

Dalirian's statement mocked claims against Iran, mentioning a supposed launch of 500 kamikaze drones and missiles at Israel and highlighting the minimal scale of the retaliatory attack with just three quadcopters, all of which were neutralized.

The attack was supposed to take place, among others, over Isfahan.
The attack was supposed to take place, among others, over Isfahan.© Licensor

The deployment of such drones suggests the attack was orchestrated from within Iran, echoing past sabotage incidents involving unmanned aerial vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Tasnim agency assured that the nuclear sites in Isfahan province are "completely safe," despite admissions from three Iranian officials to "The New York Times" that a military base near Isfahan was targeted.

Commander Siavosh Mihandoust reassured local TV audiences that the attack incurred no damage.

Additionally, Iranian media sources report that Israel directed strikes at military positions in Daraa, southern Syria, and explosions were also detected in Babylon province, Iraq, with the cause yet unspecified. Lebanese broadcaster Al-Mayadeen observed drones over Baghdad during the night.

The Israeli military has yet to comment on the attack, with the Prime Minister's office maintaining silence regarding Israel's involvement.

U.S. officials, speaking to NBC News, clarified that the United States had no part in the assault. They also mentioned that Israel had informed Washington about its attack plans days prior. In light of these events, the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem has advised its staff to minimize travel.

Last Saturday marked an aggressive move by Iran against Israel, deploying over 300 rockets and drones in retaliation against Israel’s strike on a diplomatic facility in Damascus that resulted in the deaths of seven Revolutionary Guards officers.

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