Iranian air base reportedly attacked in ‘limited’ Israeli reprisal strike

Iran plays down apparent retaliation, while Israel remains silent. Both sides are trying to pull back from the brink of war after international pressure.

Early Friday morning, Israel launched what was widely expected retaliation for the Iranian attack against Israel days before. The country defied international pressure and carried out its strike despite intense international pressure.

The Israeli authorities did not confirm a strike. State-run media reported that the air defenses had been activated. They downplayed claims of an attack against a military base in the city, located 315 kilometers south of Tehran.

Unnamed Israelis and Americans told US media outlets that Israel carried out an attack. The New York Times reported that three Iranian sources confirmed the strike on a military base in Isfahan. The extent of the damage is not known.


The apparent limited nature of the attack, which was reportedly conducted with drones instead of missiles or airstrikes and the lack official acknowledgement will likely provide the regime in Iran with the strategic denialability it needs to back down from its bellicose threat to attack Israel again, giving an early indication that Israel and Iran are both seeking to pull back from the brink.

Israel had warned throughout the week it would not allow an unprecedented Iranian barrage early on Sunday of over 300 cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones to pass without a reaction. This led to fears that spiraling tit for tat attacks could lead to a full-scale war.

There were indications, however, that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had moderated their attack plans as a result of international pressure to show restraint. Itamar Gvir, the hardline National Security Minister who has pushed military action against Iran to a large extent, commented on X by saying “lame.”

Iranian state TV reported that “three drones” were seen in the sky above Isfahan shortly after midnight. Air defense systems were activated and these drones in mid-air were destroyed.

Later, the broadcaster said that Isfahan’s situation was normal and there had been no explosions on the ground. Iranian officials first grounded flights and cleared the airspace before lifting restrictions later on Friday.

General Siavosh Mithandoost, the local commander of the army, said on state television that there was “no harm” caused by the incident in Isfahan.

According to a state TV report, an Iranian analyst said that the mini-drones shot down in Isfahan by air defenses were being flown by “infiltrators inside Iran.”

One source told Reuters that the US wasn’t involved in the attack, but Israel had notified them before.

CNN, citing a senior US official as saying that Israel had told the US that the attack did not target Iranian nuclear facilities. CNN and Fox News both quoted officials who described the attack as being “limited.”

The Washington Post quoted an Israeli source as saying that the attack served to warn that Israel’s military had the capability to reach Iran.

Israel’s Home Front Command stated that there were no specific instructions to stay near bomb shelters. This indicates no Iranian response is expected.

Isfahan hosts sites related to Iran’s nuclear programme, including the underground Natanz enrichment facility, which has repeatedly been targeted by suspected Israeli sabotage.

State TV described all sites as “completely safe”

Tasnim published a video taken by one of its journalists who claimed to be in the southeast Zerdenjan region of Isfahan near the “nuclear power mountain”. The video showed two anti-aircraft guns and the details of the footage matched known features at the site of Iran’s Uranium Conversion Facility located at Isfahan.

“At 4:45, we heard gunshots. He said that nothing was happening. It was the air defence, these guys you’re watching and over there as well.

The Isfahan facility operates three small research reactors supplied by China, and also handles fuel production for Iran’s civil nuclear program.

Iran’s F-14 Tomcats, made in the USA and purchased before 1979, are based at Isfahan Air Base.

Before Friday’s attack, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned Israel that Tehran would respond “severely” to any attack against its territory.

Iran said to the United Nations Security Council that Israel must be forced to stop “any further military adventurism” against its interests, as the UN Secretary-General warned that the Middle East is in a moment of “maximum peril.”

Israel has also been accused of attacking a Syrian radar station in the southern part of the country overnight, in addition to the attack in Iran.