Updated Apr 19, 2024 - World

Israel conducted strike on Iran, senior U.S. official says

A member of the Israeli military stands next to an Iranian ballistic missile that fell in Israel.

A member of the Israeli military stands next to an Iranian ballistic missile that fell in Israel. Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP via Getty Images

Israel conducted a strike in Iran early Friday morning local time, a senior U.S. official told Axios.

Why it matters: Israel, which has not confirmed it launched an attack, has vowed to retaliate against Iran for a missile and drone attack on Israel. The U.S. is concerned that continued counterattacks could trigger wider regional escalation.

  • An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.
  • The U.S. official said Israel notified the U.S. in advance. "We were not surprised," the official said.
  • The Biden administration has warned Israel that escalation with Iran wouldn't serve U.S. or Israeli interests and urged Israel to "be careful" with any retaliation, U.S. officials said.

The latest: Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), reported explosions were heard in the city of Isfahan in central Iran near an Iranian air force base.

  • Iranian state TV reported several drones were shot down by air defenses in Isfahan.
  • Iran issued a notification early Friday morning local time closing the air space over western parts of the country.
  • Iranian state news agency IRNA reports Iranian air defense systems were activated tonight in several places in the country.

Zoom in: The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, said early Friday morning that there was "no damage to Iran's nuclear sites." Isfahan is home to nuclear facilities.

  • The IAEA said it "is monitoring the situation very closely," and urged "extreme restraint from everybody," adding that "nuclear facilities should never be a target in military conflicts."

Catch up quick: Iran launched nearly 350 attack drones and missiles against Israel on April 13 in retaliation for an April 1 Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Syria that killed a top Iranian general and others.

  • Most of the drones and missiles were intercepted outside of Israeli airspace by Israeli, U.S., British, French, Jordanian and Saudi forces, officials said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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