Sir Francis Canker Photography/Getty Images
Israel reportedly targeted an Iranian Defense Ministry military facility in a drone attack on Saturday night in the city of Isfahan, located in the central part of the country.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal published Sunday morning, U.S. officials and other sources confirmed Israel was responsible for the operation.
Three quadcopter bomb-carrying drones were involved in the strike and shot down by defense systems around 11:30 p.m. local time, according to the Iranian government. Two of the drones were stopped by “defense traps,” while the third was destroyed by air defense systems, according to the BBC. The thwarted attacks caused minor damage to the roof of the facility, which is believed to be an ammunition manufacturing plant.
“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 ministry said in a statement.
An apparent video from the scene captured a loud bang and a bright flash of light.
فیلمی از لحظه انفجار در در یکی از مراکز مهماتسازی وزارت دفاع در #اصفهان.
ویدیو: رکنا https://t.co/aBildtGIAl pic.twitter.com/HKEojTCrKg
— Farzad Seifikaran (@FSeifikaran) January 28, 2023
“(The attack) has not affected our installations and mission…and such blind measures will not have an impact on the continuation of the country’s progress,” the ministry added.
Quadcopter drones have four rotors and a short flight range, according to the New York Times. Authorities believe the drones took off from inside Iran and were likely organized within Iran based on the distance of the facility from the border, the outlet added. The incident was reportedly similar to another thwarted attack in June 2021 on an Iranian Atomic Energy Agency facility.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, according to Reuters. Some initially suspected the operation could have been at the hands of Israel, which is engaged in a shadow war with the Islamist nation and attempting to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons. The New York Times reported that social media Telegram channels related to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard blamed Israel.
One post by an account affiliated with the Iran Revolutionary Guard warned: “Wait for rogue drones hitting Zionist oil tankers.”
An oil refinery fire also broke out in the northwest part of the country yesterday. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Iran has been rocked in recent months by massive protests stemming from the death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody in September for alleged improper wear of her hijab.