Photo Credit: ANI

Israel launches strike on Iran, U.S. official says

An apparent Israeli drone attack near a major air base and a nuclear site in central Iran activated Iranian air defenses early Friday, just days after Tehran’s drone-and-missile assault on Israel.  Tensions have been high since the Saturday strike on Israel and Israel’s own actions against Iran in Syria.

Speaking at the G7 meeting in Capri, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said the U.S. received “last-minute” information from Israel about the attack on Isfahan. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not confirm or dispute that claim, but said, “We were not involved in any offensive operations.” The U.S. was “intensely focused” on de-escalating the violence, Blinken added. Iran’s air defense systems took down Israeli drones that were seen over several provinces of the country. Iranian officials did not directly acknowledge the attack as being perpetrated by Israel, however Iranian army commander General Abdolrahim Mousavi said crews targeted several flying objects, but the incident caused no damage. It is unlikely that Tehran will retaliate.

There does not appear to be any extensive damage at an air base allegedly targeted by an Israeli military strike, according to exclusive satellite images obtained by CNN from Umbra Space. The Isfahan airbase did not suffer any infrastructure damage, and there were no craters seen on the ground. However, the extent of the damage to other areas remains unclear. Isfahan is home to a nuclear plant and if hit, there could be massive damage to the region.

An Iranian anchor described Isfahan as being “in complete peace — people are living their normal lives.”

Israel is not claiming responsibility nor denying that they carried out the offensive. When approached by NBC News, both the Israeli prime minister’s office and the Israel Defense Forces responded with “no comment,” and there are no scheduled plans for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak publicly as of yet. The Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the CIA also declined to comment.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged both sides to cease retaliating after Israel’s latest attack, a spokesperson said in a statement on Friday. “The Secretary-General reiterates that it is high time to stop the dangerous cycle of retaliation in the Middle East,” the statement read, “The Secretary-General condemns any act of retaliation and appeals to the international community to work together to prevent any further development that could lead to devastating consequences for the entire region and beyond.”


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