(A7) Israel was behind the bombing of an Iranian military facility Sunday, a report released Sunday afternoon claimed, contradicting an earlier report by an Arabic media outlet.
Early Sunday morning, a loud blast was reported at a military site in the city of Isfahan, Iran, state media outlet IRIB reported.
Iran downplayed the incident, calling it an “unsuccessful” drone attack.
“The explosion took place in one of the munitions manufacturing centers of the Defense Ministry and according to an announcement by the political and security deputy head of Isfahan Governorate, there were no casualties,” IRIB reported.
“One of (the drones) was hit by the … air defense and the other two were caught in defense traps and blew up. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack did not cause any loss of life and caused minor damage to the workshop’s roof,” the ministry said in a statement carried by the IRNA news outlet.
“(The attack) has not affected our installations and mission…and such blind measures will not have an impact on the continuation of the country’s progress,” the ministry stated.
A report by the Saudi news site Al Arabiya al Hadath claimed the drone attack was carried out by the US Air Force and the participation of another country, but emphasized that the Jewish state was not involved.
On Sunday afternoon, however, The Wall Street Journal cited US officials and other unnamed sources who said that Israel was in fact responsible for the drone attack, which used three small unmanned helicopters or “quadcopters” for the strike.
While the IDF refused to confirm or deny the report, the officials cited in the report claimed the strike was Israel’s first attack on Iran since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to office.
The nature of the target also remains in dispute.
Though Tehran has claimed the building attacked was merely an ammunition factory, analysts have suggested the building and the type of strike conducted indicate the target was not a munitions factory.
Ronen Solomon, an intelligence analyst, argued that given the small size of the explosion and satellite imagery showing the target is adjacent to a unit of the Iran Space Research Center, the building was likely a lab for Iran’s ballistic missile program, or a military logistics site.
Israel’s Channel 12 reported Sunday night that the quadcopter drones used in the attack were launched from inside Iranian territory, and claimed that the target was an Iranian drone factory which produces the HESA Shahed 136 suicide drone.
According to the report Sunday night, the drones caused serious damage to the factory.