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Israel behind drone strike in Iran, report says

Tehran said it thwarted the attack on a military facility in Isfahan.

The Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system (UAS) for strategic and tactical missions. Credit: Israeli Aerospace Industries.
The Heron medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system (UAS) for strategic and tactical missions. Credit: Israeli Aerospace Industries.

Israel was behind the drone strike that targeted a military facility in Iran late Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing U.S. officials and others familiar with the operation.

The attack came as Jerusalem and Washington explore new ways to counter the Iranian nuclear threat and with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken scheduled to visit Israel on Monday.

Iran said it thwarted the drone attack on the defense installation located in the city of Isfahan.

“One of [the drones] was hit by the…air defense and the other two were caught in defense traps and blew up. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack did not cause any loss of life and caused minor damage to the workshop’s roof,” the Iranian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Iranian news agencies reported a loud blast at the factory, said to be a munitions plant, while video footage showed a flash of light as well as emergency vehicles and fire trucks at the scene.

Iran International, a London-based anti-regime news site, reported that multiple explosions were heard at the site as well as in several other cities including Karaj, west of Tehran, at a factory near Tabriz, capital of East Azerbaijan Province in northwestern Iran, and in the city of Dezful in the southwestern Khuzestan Province.

The Journal also reported that CIA Director William Burns made an unannounced trip to Israel last week to discuss Iran. Also last week, the Juniper Oak exercise took was conducted by the Israeli and U.S. militaries.

The drills included a live-fire event with more than 140 aircraft including B-52s, F-35s, F-15s, AC-130 Hercules transports, Apache helicopters. Twelve naval vessels, including the aircraft carrier the USS George H.W. Bush, and various rocket systems participated in the exercises, along with special operations forces, infantry and space forces.

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