Israel targets Iran on Ayatollah's birthday, Tehran weighs response options

F-15 fighter aircraft of Israeli Air Force
F-15 fighter aircraft of Israeli Air Force

Israel strikes targets in Iran, two US officials say, Syria claims Israeli strike too, Iran said that they will not respond immediately, CNN reported on April 19.

Explosions echoed through the city of Gahdjavorstan, northwest of Isfahan, near a significant Iranian Army Air Force base adjacent to the Isfahan airport.

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The strikes coincided with the 85th birthday of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In response, flights to Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz have been temporarily halted, and Iran's air defenses were activated across several provinces.9.

A U.S. official assured that "the goals were not nuclear," and another senior U.S. official noted the U.S. did not anticipate the strikes to target civilian or nuclear sites. On April 18, Israel signaled the United States of potential retaliatory actions against Iran.

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Another senior U.S. official said that prior to Israeli strike, U.S. expected that it would not target civilian or nuclear facilities.

Israel informed United States that it would take retaliatory measures against Iran in the coming days on April 18.

The Israeli military has currently withheld comment on the matter.

Iran does not plan to respond to Israel's strike on Isfahan, hints its army commander-in-chief Abdul Rahim Mousavi

This was reported by the EFE news agency, citing a statement to Iranian media.

"Thanks to our vigilance, targets in the air were struck," he said, and added that there were no destructions reported as a result of Israeli strike.

Iran has no plans to retaliate immediately in response to Israel's strike, a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday, hours after sources said Israel had launched an attack on Iranian territory.

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"The external source of the incident has not been confirmed," an Iranian official said on condition of anonymity.

"We have not suffered any external attack, it is more of an infiltration than an attack."

According to Reuters, Iranian state television also stated that mini-drones that were shot down by Iranian air defense forces in Isfahan were allegedly controlled by "infiltrators inside Iran."

Syria also claims an Israeli attack

Israel launched a missile strike on an air defense unit in southern Syria, causing damage, according to a statement by Syrian military, which was distributed by Syrian state news agency Sana today.

According to Associated Press, military aircraft were spotted around the same time as loud explosions near a major Iranian air base and nuclear facility in Isfahan, Iran, on the morning of April 19.

Syrian target that was attacked is located directly west of Isfahan, about 932 miles away of Israel.

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