US officials: Israel strikes Iran; what we know about the attack now

The attack was in response to an Iranian drone and missile attack last weekend.

U.S. officials confirmed early Friday that Israel has carried out military operations against Iran in retaliation for the drone and cruise missile attack the country launched over the weekend, according to The Associated Press.

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American officials were alerted ahead of the action that a strike was coming in the next 24 to 48 hours, according to CNN. However, Italy’s foreign minister said the U.S. told the Group of Seven foreign ministers on Friday that it received “last minute” information from Israel about a drone action in Iran.

US ‘not involved’ in Israeli strike on Iran, Blinken says

Update 7:45 a.m. EDT April 19: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers on Capri, Italy, that he would not speak about Israel’s strikes on Iran on Friday “except to say that the United States has not been involved in any offensive operations.”

“What we’re focused on, what the G7 is focused on, and again, it’s reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de-escalate tensions, to de-escalate from any potential conflict. You saw Israel on the receiving end of an unprecedented attack,” Blinken added.

“But our focus has been on, of course, making sure that Israel can effectively defend itself, but also de-escalating tensions, avoiding conflict.”

“A big part of our approach has been to prevent the conflict from spreading, to avoid escalation everywhere,” Blinken also said.

Original story: The Israelis assured their U.S. counterparts that Iran’s nuclear facilities would not be targeted, according to The New York Times.

Iranian state media reported explosions near a major airbase close to the city of Isfahan but said the area had not suffered any damage. The airbase is home to Iran’s fleet of American-made F-14 Tomcats, according to The Guardian. The planes were purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s nuclear program is based at Isfahan and is home to its underground Natanz enrichment site.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency said there had been “no damage” to nuclear sites in Iran but that it was closely monitoring the situation, the Times reported.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s foreign minister, told CNN, “If the Israeli regime commits the great error once again our response will be decisive, definitive and regretful for them.”

A senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday that Iran had not confirmed who had attacked the air base and that there was no plan for immediate retaliation against Israel.

“The foreign source of the incident has not been confirmed. We have not received any external attack, and the discussion leans more towards infiltration than attack,” the Iranian official said on condition of anonymity.

Late Thursday, the U.S. and Britain announced new sanctions on Iran targeting its unmanned aerial vehicle production after last weekend’s attack on Israel, Reuters reported.