US officials: Israel behind bombing of Iranian defense facility

The Wall Street Journal said the strike was the first to be carried out by Israel since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israel was responsible for the bombing of an Iranian military facility Sunday, The Wall Street Journal said in a report published on Sunday afternoon, citing U.S. officials.

According to Iranian state media, an explosion took place at a munitions factory in the city of Isfahan early Sunday morning, which it dismissed as an “unsuccessful” drone attack.

“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 state-affiliated 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.

Saudi news site Al Arabiya al Hadath attributed the drone attack to the U.S., and said Israel was not involved.

Later, however, The Wall Street Journal cited US officials and other unnamed sources as saying that Israel carried out the attack, which used three small quadcopters.

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The newspaper noted that the strike was the first to be carried out by Israel since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power last month, and comes amid increased talks between Jerusalem and Washington on ways to counter Tehran.

The IDF would not confirm the report.

The article cited intelligence analyst, Ronen Solomon, as saying that the site was not a munitions factory, but likely a laboratory for Iran’s ballistic missile program, and is located next to a facility belonging to the Iran Space Research Center, which is under U.S. sanctions.

However, Israel’s Channel 12 said the target was an Iranian drone factory which manufactures the HESA Shahed 136 suicide drone.