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Iranian media says three drones downed after explosions heard in Isfahan

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ABC News earlier reported Israel had launched a missile attack on a target in Iran, citing a senior US official.

Iranian state media said the country’s air defences brought down three small drones over the central city of Isfahan, hours after United States broadcasters, citing senior US officials, reported Israeli missiles had hit an Iranian site.

Iranian state television reported explosions in Isfahan, as air defences were activated and flights across several areas including Tehran and Isfahan were suspended.

Airspace was reopened about four and a half hours after the incident and there were no reports of casualties.

Second Brigadier General Siavash Mihandoust, the top military official in Isfahan, told state media that air defence batteries hit “a suspicious object” and there was no damage.

ABC News reported earlier, citing a senior US official, that Israel had launched missiles at a site in Iran. CBS News also reported that an Israeli attack had taken place.

Iranian media report that no strikes were launched on Iran from outside the country, and the attack is believed to have been launched using small quadcopters that would have to have been launched from inside Iran.

Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said Iranian media is downplaying the incident.

“The location in Isfahan province is an Iranian military airbase that belongs to the country’s army, and not the Revolutionary Guards. I think it’s important to highlight that,” she said. “This base houses multiple squadrons of F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft.”

“We also understand that the air defence systems over the city of Tabriz in the northwestern part of Iran were also activated.”

A military factory belonging to the Iranian army in Isfahan was attacked by multiple quadcopters in January 2023, failing to damage the facility that was protected by air defence batteries and mesh wiring on its roof to counter small unmanned aerial vehicles. Iran blamed Israel for that attack and executed four people in January 2024 for operating on behalf of Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

Israel had promised to respond after Iran last Saturday launched a barrage of drones and missiles on the country, after a suspected Israeli strike on Iran’s consulate compound in Damascus killed two senior generals.

Isfahan is considered a strategically important city and one that is host to several important sites, including military research and development facilities, as well as bases. The nearby city of Natanz is the location of one of Iran’s nuclear enrichment sites.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that “there is no damage” to Iranian nuclear sites and said Director General Rafael Grossi calls for restraint and reminds that nuclear facilities should never be targeted in military conflicts.

There were also reports of explosions in Iraq and Syria, with Iranian state media saying there were explosions at multiple military-linked sites in Syria.

“There were strikes on a Syrian army radar position,” Rayan Maarouf, who runs the Suwayda24 anti-government website that covers news from Sweida province in the south, told the AFP news agency.

The US and a number of European countries had been calling on Israel not to respond to Iran’s attack last week. There was no immediate comment from the White House or Pentagon.

On Thursday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres painted a dark picture of the situation in the Middle East, warning that spiralling tensions over the war in Gaza and Iran’s attack on Israel could descend into a “full-scale regional conflict.”

“The Middle East is on a precipice. Recent days have seen a perilous escalation — in words and deeds,” Guterres told the Security Council.

“One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake, could lead to the unthinkable — a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved,” he said, calling on all parties to exercise “maximum restraint.”


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