Israel launches retaliatory strike on Iran, reports say; explosions heard in Isfahan

Explosions heard in Iraq and Syria; Israel notifies Washington ahead of attack according to US officials; Israel makes no official comment while Home Front Command makes no changes to civilian conduct

Israel launched its retaliatory attack on Iran, foreign media reported overnight Friday. Iranian air defenses engaged several targets early Friday morning as explosions could be heard near a major air base near Isfahan, raising fears of a possible Israeli strike following Tehran’s unprecedented drone-and-missile assault on the country.
A U.S. official told CNN that Israel advised Washington on its intention to launch an attack hours before it began. Another official told Al Jazeera that the Israeli attack had begun.
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מערכות האוויריות האיראניות מתמודדות עם מטרות עוינות בשמי אספהאן
מערכות האוויריות האיראניות מתמודדות עם מטרות עוינות בשמי אספהאן
Explosions in the area of Isfahan
Israel gave no official comment and there has been no change to the IDF Home Front Command's instruction to civilians.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard put all bases on high alert and the Iranian national security council was called for an urgent consultation.
One Iranian government official suggested sites may have been targeted by drones launched from within Iranian territory and not missiles.
Iranian news agency IRNA said the defenses fired across several provinces. It did not elaborate on what triggered the batteries, though locals reported hearing the explosions.
The report said that air defenses engaged threats over a major air base in Isfahan, which long has been home to Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats — purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies also reported blasts, without giving a cause. IRNA reported a “loud noise” in the area.
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תרגיל צבאי באיראן
תרגיל צבאי באיראן
Iranian military drill
(Photo: EPA)
Explosions were also reported in Iraq and Syria. Pro-Iranian media reported explosions in Baghdad and southern Syria.
The U.S. embassy in Israel on Friday warned staffers not to travel outside central areas and major cities.
"Out of an abundance of caution following reports that Israel conducted a retaliatory strike inside Iran, U.S. government employees and their family members are restricted from personal travel outside the greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice. U.S. government personnel are authorized to transit between these three areas for personal travel," the embassy posted.
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