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Israel’s overnight attack on Iran: Everything you need to know

Reports from US officials indicate that Israel launched a missile strike on Iran overnight on Friday, marking a potential retaliatory action following weeks of escalating tensions between the two nations. The strike reportedly targeted the Isfahan region, although there are conflicting claims regarding the extent of the attack and resultant damage. Iranian state media has downplayed the significance of the strike.

The strike comes after a series of confrontations between Israel and Iran, including an Israeli attack on an Iranian compound in Syria and an unprecedented assault by Iran against Israel. The recent incident adds to the ongoing tensions between the two regional rivals.

While Israel typically does not publicly confirm its military actions, US officials, speaking to CBS News, have confirmed the Israeli missile strike on Iran. The specifics of the weapons used and launch locations remain unclear. US sources indicate the involvement of a missile, while Iran suggests the use of small drones.

Iranian officials and media have acknowledged the attempted strike but have sought to minimize its significance, reporting no casualties. Reports from Iran’s Fars news agency mention explosions near an army base, with air defense systems activated. However, Iranian state media quoted a general in Isfahan stating that the explosions resulted from air defense firing at suspicious objects and that no damage occurred.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency shared a video of a nuclear facility in Isfahan, indicating no signs of damage. The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed no harm to Iran’s nuclear sites. Iran’s National Centre of Cyberspace spokesman dismissed reports of an external air attack, attributing the incident to Israel’s failed attempt to deploy drones.

Explosions were reported in Iraq and Syria overnight, areas where Iran-backed armed groups operate, although it remains unclear if these were directly connected to the Isfahan strike. Syria’s defense ministry reported an Israeli missile strike on a southern air defense site, though Israel has not confirmed involvement.

Isfahan province, with its significant military infrastructure including an airbase, missile production complex, and nuclear facilities, was targeted in the strike. The attack comes shortly after Iran’s large-scale missile and drone assault on Israel, considered a dramatic escalation in tensions.

The full significance of the recent strike is yet to be determined, with uncertainty surrounding Iran’s potential response. Observers speculate that the limited nature of the attack may indicate an effort to prevent further escalation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces pressure from within his own ranks to respond to Iran, amidst international calls to avoid direct conflict.

There are concerns that increased hostilities in the Middle East could disrupt oil supplies, leading to a temporary rise in Brent crude oil prices to $88 a barrel. The initial surge in oil prices stabilized as details of the limited strike emerged. Additionally, gold prices briefly approached a record high before settling near $2,400 an ounce, reflecting investor concerns over geopolitical uncertainty.

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