Israel linked to drone strike on factory in Iran
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the convoy in the Syrian border area of Boukamal, which is a stronghold of Iran-backed militias.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the drones appeared to be from the US-led coalition, adding that they targeted six refrigerated trucks. The group said there were casualties and ambulances rushed to the area.
Another activist said the attack hit a convoy of trucks from Iran-backed militia. In Baghdad, an official with an Iran-backed militia confirmed there had been a strike and said it targeted only one truck. He gave no word on casualties.
The attacks came amid tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear activities and its supply of weapons – including long-range “suicide drones” – for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as months of anti-government protests at home.
The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed. Iran’s defense ministry said the blast caused only minor damage and no casualties.
“Such actions will not affect our experts’ determination to advance in our peaceful core work,” Amirabdollahian told reporters in televised remarks.
An Israeli attack on Iran would be the first under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he returned to office last month at the helm of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.
In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in Ukrainian cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky directly linked the incident to the war there.
“Explosive night in Iran,” Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Warned you.”
Iran has admitted sending drones to Russia, but says they were sent before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year. Moscow denies that its forces use Iranian drones in Ukraine, although many have been shot down and recovered there.
“At around 11.30pm Saturday evening (7am AEDT Sunday), an unsuccessful attack using micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) was carried out on one of the ministry’s workshop premises,” the Ministry of Defense said in a statement issued by state – TV.
One drone was said to have been shot down “and the other two were caught in defensive traps and blown up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no casualties.”
A military official in the region said that given the location of the attack in central Iran and the size of the drones, it was likely that the attack was carried out from within Iran’s borders.
Separately, IRNA reported early Sunday about a massive fire at a motor oil factory in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. It later said oil leakage caused the fire, citing a local official.
Iran has accused Israel in the past of planning attacks using agents inside Iranian territory. In July, Tehran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a “sensitive” defense industrial center in Isfahan.
Several Iranian nuclear sites are located in Isfahan province, including Natanz, the center of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging in 2021. There have been a number of explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial sites in recent years.
Talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have stalled since September. Under the treaty, which was abandoned in 2018 by Washington under then-President Donald Trump, Tehran agreed to curb nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran’s clerical rulers have also faced internal turmoil in recent months, with a crackdown on widespread anti-establishment demonstrations spurred by the death in custody of a woman who was held for allegedly violating his strict Islamic dress code. violated
Reuters, with AP
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