Israel behind drone attack on Iranian military facility: US intelligence sources
Israel was behind a drone attack on an Iranian military facility in the city of Isfahan, according to US intelligence sources quoted in American media on Sunday.
Mossad, Israel's notorious spy agency, launched the strike on Saturday - which caused a major explosion in the Iranian city - to serve its own security interests, said unnamed US officials in the New York Times.
The Israeli government has not commented on the strike, which if launched by Mossad would be the first carried out under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new far-right coalition against Tehran.
"US officials said they believed this strike was prompted by Israel's concerns about its own security, not the potential for missile exports to Russia," reported The New York Times.
Iran is a primary supplier of drones to Russia amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
"American officials quickly sent out word on Sunday morning that the United States was not responsible for the attack. One official confirmed that it had been conducted by Israel but did not have details about the target," the NYT said.
Iran's defence ministry said three drones were involved in Saturday's attack, adding that minimal damage was caused and there were no casualties.
Tehran said the drones targeted "an ammunition manufacturing plant" in Isfahan, which is the site of four nuclear research facilities.
It is unclear, however, whether this was the intended target of the strike.
The incident occurred just before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken landed in the region to meet Israel’s new government.
Israel has long launched attacks on its arch-foe Iran, which it considers a threat to its existence and a force of destabilisation given its links to militant groups across the Middle East.
Sometimes Israel gives the US advance warnings of attacks on Iran following an incident in April 2021 when an operation by Mossad to strike an Iranian enrichment site "surprised" officials in Washington, reported NYT.