What we know about Israel’s missile attack on Iran


  • Author: Sean Seddon and Daniel Palumbo
  • bbc news

illustrate, Iranian state television broadcast footage from Isfahan that appeared to show no signs of damage

Israel struck Iran with missiles early Friday, U.S. officials said, in what appeared to be a retaliatory strike after weeks of escalating tensions between the two countries.

There are conflicting accounts of the scale and extent of the damage in the Isfahan area, with Iranian state media downplaying its significance.

It comes after weeks of rising tensions between regional rivals, with Israel attacking an Iranian compound in Syria and Iran launching an unprecedented attack on Israel.

Here’s everything we know so far about the latest incident.

How do we know there’s a strike?

It is not routine for Israel to confirm its military operations, which have repeatedly targeted Iranian-backed armed groups in Syria and Iraq.

However, US officials confirmed to BBC partner CBS News that an Israeli missile did hit Iran.

U.S. sources said the attack involved a missile, while Iran said the attack involved a small drone.

The Iranian government tightly controls access to the country. The BBC did not have direct access to the central area of ​​Isfahan and the incident occurred at night.

What weapons might have been used?

So far, there has been much speculation about the type of missile used.

BBC Verify attempted to identify the weapon by analyzing images of the wreckage released 60 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of the capital Baghdad in neighboring Iraq.

Image Source, sablin news

illustrate, Photos released by Sabourin News show the wreckage of alleged Israeli missiles in central Iraq

Experts now appear to have reached a broader consensus that a two-stage missile was used and was likely air-launched. Many believe the fragments are Israeli-produced Blue Sparrow missiles.

Justin Crump, a former British Army officer who runs risk intelligence company Sibylline, agreed that the fragments seen in the photos may have come from the missile booster. “The warhead has detached and may have continued to complete its mission – it was dropped Engine “Human”.

“The booster has attachment points typically used to attach to aircraft, and its overall size suggests it may be an air-launched system,” Crump said.

While we have not been able to independently verify the specific type of missile, Israel is known to have developed this type of weapon.

“Israel has used these types of weapons in Syria before, so it’s well within their capabilities,” Crump added.

What is Iran’s comment on this attack?

Some Iranian officials and media have confirmed the attempted attack but downplayed its significance. There have been no reports of casualties.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said an explosion was heard near a military base and the air defense system was activated.

State media channels quoted a general as saying that the explosions heard in the Isfahan area were “caused by air defense systems firing at suspicious objects” and that no damage was caused.

illustrate, Iranian state media keen to downplay reports of Isfahan attack

The semi-official Tasnim news agency, which is closely linked to the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards military wing, released a video of the Isfahan nuclear facility but did not show any sign of an attack.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran’s nuclear facilities were not damaged.

Hussein Dalilian, spokesman for Iran’s National Cyberspace Center, said that “no air strikes from abroad occurred.”

He said Israel had “just made a failed and humiliating quadcopter attempt” [drones]” has been shot down.

Iran imposed restrictions on commercial flights in the hours after the attack but have now lifted them.

Explosions were also reported overnight by Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq and Syria, but it was unclear whether those explosions were directly related to the Isfahan attack.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense said that in the early morning of Friday local time, an air defense base in southern Syria was attacked by Israeli missiles. Israel has not been confirmed to be behind the attack.

Why was Isfahan targeted, and why now?

The province of Isfahan is a large region in central Iran, named for its largest city.

The area is home to important Iranian military infrastructure, including a large air base, a major missile production site and multiple nuclear facilities.

Israel usually informs the United States of military operations in advance, but Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told reporters at a Group of Seven meeting in Capri that Washington was only informed “at the last minute.”

Speaking at the summit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declined to disclose the attack, saying only that the United States “was not involved in any offensive operations.”

Despite its size and unprecedented nature, Iran’s attack was largely unsuccessful, with the vast majority of the missiles shot down by Israeli air defenses with help from the United States, Britain and other allies.

Israel has also not publicly confirmed that it was behind that attack, but it is widely believed to be.

Will this increase tensions between Israel and Iran?

The full significance of this latest attack is still becoming clear, and it’s unclear whether Iran will seek a response.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardener said Friday’s attack was limited in scale and may have been an attempt to ensure the conflict did not develop further.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will face competing pressure from some of his own generals and political allies to push back against Iran, according to BBC International Editor Jeremy Bowen.

illustrate, Iran and Israel both have powerful militaries but have avoided direct conflict

Israel faces intense international pressure from the United States and other Western allies not to take any action that could turn a long-running proxy war between the two Middle Eastern rivals into a direct conflict.

The outbreak of hostilities comes against the backdrop of the war in Gaza, where Israeli forces are fighting Iran-backed Hamas.

What was the reaction in Israel and around the world?

Some of the responses within Israel highlighted the country’s political divisions.

Ultranationalist Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir described attacks on Iran as “weak” or “lame”.

In response, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid called for his dismissal, saying his comments had made Israel feel ridiculed and embarrassed.

The British government said it would not speculate on the attack but said Israel should avoid “significant escalation” in exercising its “right of self-defence”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on all parties to refrain from further action.

How has the world economy responded?

There are concerns that a worsening conflict in the Middle East could disrupt oil supplies.

After the attack, Brent crude, the international oil price benchmark, rose 1.8% to $88 a barrel.

Oil prices initially rose 3.5% but stabilized when strikes were restrained.

The price of gold – often seen as a safe investment in uncertain times – was close to record highs before falling back to nearly $2,400 an ounce.


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