Israel starts revenge attack against Iran with explosion as flights diverted | World | News

April 19, 2024
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has launched a revenge attack against – with explosions heard and airspace closed.

A US official confirmed to ABC News that Israeli weapons hit a site in Iran as tensions hit boiling point in the

Iran fired air defence batteries early on Friday morning across several provinces and Hossein Dalirian, a spokesman for Iran’s civilian space program, tweeted that several small” “quadcopter” drones had been shot down.

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported on the sound of explosions over Isfahan, the country’s third largest city, near its international airport.

“The city of Ghahjaworstan is located near Isfahan Airport and the eighth hunting base of the Army Air Force,” FARS news said.

Isfahan, which is 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of Iran’s capital, Tehran, is home to a major airbase for the Iranian military as well as sites associated with its nuclear program.

Retired US Army General Mike Lyons told CNN: “I think they used manned aircraft in this operation to ensure their targeting was precise. They went after military targets. This sends a signal to Iran that we can strike that facility (Isfahan’s nuclear plant) if we want.”

Three drones “have been successfully shot down by the country’s air defence, there are no reports of a missile attack for now,” Iran’s National Cyberspace Center spokesman, Hossein Dalirian, said on X.

Iranian Press TV is also reporting an explosion was heard near the central city.

All flights heading to “Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz, the airports of the West, North West and South West have been suspended,” the director of Iran’s public relations for an airport company announced in an interview with state-run Mehr TV.

He explained the suspension stars immediately, adding: “Passengers should check the flight information before departure.”

Just hours before the explosions were heard, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told CNN that Iran’s response if Israel took any further military action against it would be “immediate and at a maximum level”.

“In case the Israeli regime embarks on adventurism again and takes action against the interests of Iran, the next response from us will be immediate and at a maximum level,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

Israel had told the US on Thursday it would be retaliating against Iran in the coming days, a senior US official said, stating: “We didn’t endorse the response.”

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This comes after Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel at the weekend after two Iranian generals were killed when an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital of Damascus was hit by a suspected Israeli strike.

While Iran’s weekend strike was mostly intercepted and caused little damage, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed earlier this week that “Israel will do whatever is required to defend itself”.

On Monday, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said Israel is considering its next steps but the Iranian strike “will be met with a response.”

While he gave no further details on the specifics, the army’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, claimed Israel will respond “at the time that we choose.”

The US has urged Israel to show restraint, despite an Israeli official stating: “Any response will be coordinated with the Americans.”

US President Joe Biden previously told Netanyahu that his country would not participate in any counteroffensive against Iran.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Israel and other nations were “effective” at neutralizing the threat from Iran over the weekend, adding that the attack could have caused a “significant loss of life.”

He said Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have “consulted extensively with partners in the region and around the world.” They are calling for the international community to “act as a united front”.



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