Saturday, April 20, 2024

US officials say Israel behind drone attack on Iran military workshop

Israel carried out a drone strike targeting a defense compound in Iran, according to US officials and people familiar with the operation. Iran says its air defenses had fended off an attempted attack by three small quadcopters targeting a munitions factory in the city of Isfahan.

The raid marks the first known attack carried out by Israel under the new far-right coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli military declined to comment. But public figures in Iran suggested Israel and its Western allies were behind the drone attack.

Iran’s Defense Ministry has announced that the country’s air defense units have foiled a drone attack on a defense industrial complex in the Central province of Isfahan.

The defense ministry made the announcement in an early Sunday statement, after an explosion was reported at one of Isfahan’s defense military workshop late Saturday.

The ministry said one of its workshop complexes had come under attack from a number of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), but the complex’s air defenses successfully repelled the attack.

“One of the MAVs was downed by the complex’s air defense fire, while the other two were caught in its defensive traps and exploded,” the statement added.

The ministry noted that the unsuccessful attack did not cause any loss of life and only led to minor damage to the roof of a workshop. The complex, it stated, continues its ordinary operations following the attack.

The ministry then assured the Iranian nation that such blind attacks will have no effect on the country’s overall march toward progress.

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns made an unannounced trip to Israel last week to discuss Iran and other regional issues, according to people familiar with his visit. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Monday to continue the US-Israel talks about Iran and other regional issues.

Last week, the US and Israel carried out their largest-ever joint military exercise involving more than 7,500 personnel from both countries and a series of scenarios to test their ability to take out air-defense systems and refuel jet planes.

Israel’s top general told The Wall Street Journal last week that Israel and the US were preparing for the worst.

Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Israel Defense Forces’ chief of staff, said that the military exercises sent “a very clear message to Iran: If Iran makes mistakes, offense capabilities are getting ready.”

Tehran has repeatedly warned that any mistake by the US and Israel will be met with a crushing response.

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