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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Airlines reroute flights after Israeli attack on Iran

Air defenses have reportedly been activated in several provinces of the Islamic Republic

Israel carried out a series of strikes on Iran in the early hours of Friday, multiple news outlets have reported. The news comes less than a week after the Islamic Republic fired a barrage of drones and missiles at Israel.

Iranian news agency Mehr reported that several explosions were heard around 4 am local time in the skies over the central city of Isfahan.

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IRNA news agency said that air defenses have been activated in several parts of Iran, and that Israel also struck military airfields and a radar site in Syria and Iraq.

Hossein Dalirian, spokesman for Iran’s civilian space program, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that several drones had been shot down over the city of Isfahan. Iranian TV later said that three drones had been destroyed over the city.

According to Al Jazeera, Iran has suspended flights at several airports, including Tehran and Isfahan.

CNN cited an unnamed US official as saying that nuclear sites were not targeted.

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The Israeli army told AFP: “we don’t have a comment at this time” when asked about reports of strikes in Iran and Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office refused to confirm to the Times of Israel that Israel was responsible for the explosions heard in Isfahan.

The Syrian Defense Ministry has confirmed the Israeli strike, saying that it occurred at around 3am local time and targeted air defense installations in the south of the country. The attack resulted in “material damage,” the ministry said, without providing further details.

On April 1, Israel struck the Iranian consulate building in Damascus, Syria, killing seven senior officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force. Iran responded by launching kamikaze drones and missiles at Israel on April 13. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the vast majority of the projectiles was successfully intercepted, and reported only minor damage on the ground.

Reports of the explosions came hours after Iran’s Foreign Minister Houssein Amir-Abdollahian told CNN that Iran’s response would be “immediate and at a maximum level,” if Israel takes any further military action against his country.

“If the Israeli regime commits the grave error once again our response will be decisive, definitive and regretful for them,” he stated, explaining that warning was sent to the White House via the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.