Israel strikes site in Iran in retaliation for weekend assault: source

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Israel carried out limited strikes in Iran early Friday in retaliation for Tehran firing a barrage of missiles and drones at Israel late Saturday. 

Fox News Digital has confirmed there have been explosions in Isfahan province where Natanz is located though it is not clear whether it has been hit. Natanz is the site of one of Iran’s nuclear facilities, though state television has described all sites in the area as “fully safe.” 

A well-placed military source has told Fox that the strike was “limited.” Sources familiar said the U.S. was not involved and there was pre-notification to the U.S. from the Israelis. 

Pentagon officials have not confirmed the strike. The White House and the National Security Council (NSC) have declined to comment on the unfolding situation. 

Commercial flights, meanwhile, began diverting their routes early Friday morning over western Iran without explanation as one semiofficial news agency in the Islamic Republic claimed there had been “explosions” heard over the city of Isfahan, Reuters reported.

isfahan

The Iranian Citty of Isfahan at night.  (Getty Images)

The semiofficial Fars news agency reported on the sound of explosions over Isfahan near its international airport. It offered no explanation for the blast. However, Isfahan is home to a major airbase for the Iranian military, as well as sites associated with its nuclear program.

Dubai-based carriers Emirates and FlyDubai began diverting around western Iran about 4:30 a.m. local time. They offered no explanation, though local warnings to aviators suggested the airspace may have been closed.

Iran later announced it grounded commercial flights in Tehran and across areas of its western and central regions. Loudspeakers informed customers of the incident at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, online videos purported to show.

Iranian state television began a scrolling, on-screen alert acknowledging a “loud noise” near Isfahan, without immediately elaborating.

Iran attacked Israel over the weekend in retaliation for Israel’s deadly strike on Iran’s consulate earlier this month that killed a dozen people, including a top general. 

ISRAEL’S ADVANCED MILITARY TECHNOLOGY ON FULL DISPLAY DURING IRAN’S ATTACK

Anti-Missile System

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

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The weekend attack by Iran marked a major escalation of violence. Despite decades of hostilities between the two nations, Iran has never directly attacked Israel, instead relying on proxy forces in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.