Israel Strikes an Iranian Military Base, but Damage Appears Limited

The Israeli military struck Iran early on Friday in retaliation for an aerial attack on Israel last weekend, according to two Israeli and three Iranian officials, but the strike appeared to be limited in scope and the reaction from both Israel and Iran was muted.

Iranian officials said that the strike had hit a military air base near the city of Isfahan, in central Iran, and that it had been carried out by small drones. They said the drones might have been launched from inside Iran, whose radar systems had not detected unidentified aircraft entering Iranian airspace.

If the drones were launched within the country, it would demonstrate once again Israel’s ability to mount clandestine operations in Iranian territory. Iranian officials said that a separate group of small drones was shot down in the region of Tabriz, roughly 500 miles north of Isfahan.

Israeli warplanes also fired missiles during the retaliatory strike, a Western official and two Iranian officials said. It was not immediately clear whether Iran’s defenses intercepted the missiles or where they landed.

The Israeli military declined to comment. A senior U.S. official said that Israel had notified the United States through multiple channels shortly before the attack. All the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Addressing reporters at a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 7 nations in Italy, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the United States had “not been involved in any offensive operations” in Iran. But he declined to comment further and would not even confirm the Israeli strike, referring instead to “reported events.”

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