Iran fires air defence batteries as Israel reportedly strikes Isfahan

Iranian official TV confirms 'massive explosions' in central Isfahan province, as US officials confirm Israel carried out strike inside Iran, on April 19, 2024. (Photo/AA)

Iran has activated its air defence system over several cities, state media reported, after the country's official broadcaster said explosions were heard near the central city of Isfahan following what a senior US official told ABC News were Israeli missile strikes.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported mysterious explosions early on Friday at the central Isfahan airport. "The cause of these sounds is still unknown, and investigations continue until the exact details of the incident are determined."

The 8th Shekhari Air Force Base appears to be affected, other Iranian news outlets reported. International flights were canceled at Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, Mehr news agency said.

Israel's military told the AFP news agency that "we don't have a comment at this time" when asked about reports of explosions and strikes in Iran and Syria. The military also separately announced that sirens were sounded in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon.

Reuters news agency, citing its sources, said Israel struck Iran and there was a pre-notification to the US from Tel Aviv.

Hossein Dalirian, a spokesman for Iran's civilian space programme, said on the X social media platform that several small "quadcopter" drones had been shot down. It wasn't immediately clear where that happened or if it was part of the ongoing incident in Iran.

Meanwhile in Iraq, where a number of Iranian-backed militias are based, residents of Baghdad reported hearing sounds of explosions, but the source of the noise was not immediately clear.

Isfahan is known for its substantial military airbase and sites critical to Iran's nuclear programme. Iranian government has yet to issue any formal response.

Oil prices rise

As the international community watches closely, the incident has already started affecting global markets.

Oil prices experienced a sharp increase, with West Texas Intermediate climbing 3.66 percent to $85.76 and Brent crude rising 3.44 percent to $90.11. This surge is attributed to fears of further escalation in a region already fraught with conflict.

The reported strikes marks a severe uptick in the ongoing conflict between Iran and Israel, following a warning from Israel's army chief General Herzi Halevi of a robust response to any acts of aggression.

The situation remains fluid as both regional and international powers grapple with the rapidly deteriorating security landscape in the Middle East.

Over the weekend, Iran launched a massive retaliation with hundreds of drones and missiles targeting locations after what was suspected to be an Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria that killed seven Iranians, including two senior army officials.


Source: TRT