A military strike that utilized quadcopter drones launched from inside Iran hit the top-secret Iranian military base at Parchin. It’s believed the strike targeted Iran’s drone research and development complex and not its missile or nuclear research facilities.
No nation has claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Iran and the U.S. say that it fits the pattern of past attacks by Israel.
The attack follows an assassination of a colonel in the Revolutionary Guards last week. Analysts believe the Israelis intended it as a warning to Iran to stop targeting Israeli citizens abroad.
Parchin had previously been attacked in 2014 and 2007. Those were explosions and fires believed to have been initiated by Israeli agents on site.
In recent years, Iran has steadily advanced in its design and production of drones and transfer of drone technology and parts to proxy militias across the Middle East. Iranian drones have been deployed in numerous attacks against Israel, as well as in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and, last October, a U.S. base in Syria, according to intelligence officials.
Israel considers the use of drones by its enemies, especially Iran, as a major threat to its security because drones can evade Israel’s advanced antimissile systems like the Iron Dome. A senior Israeli military official said the country was investing significant resources to locate and destroy enemy drones.
Israel has been busy trying to disrupt Iranian development of sophisticated drone technology. In February, drones attacked a drone facility in the city of Kermanshah. It was Iran’s main manufacturing and storage plant for military drones, according to U.S. intelligence.
Last June, another quadcopter drone hit the centrifuge manufacturing facility that was making advanced centrifuges to spin up nuclear fuel. Iran has announced its intention to create uranium enriched to a 60% level. With bomb-grade uranium possible at 90%, it would take a matter of hours for Iran to spin up 60% fuel to reach that level.
It’s significant that the drone attack on Parchin was launched from inside Iran.
The drone attack on Wednesday was launched from inside Iran, not far from the Parchin military base, according to the Iranian sources with knowledge of the attack. Quadcopter drones have a short flight range, and Parchin is a long way from Iran’s borders.
This would not be the first time that Israel had used operatives inside Iran to carry out attacks.
A statement by Iran’s Ministry of Defense on Thursday used the word “incident” instead of “accident” to describe what happened at Parchin and called the engineer who died a “martyr,” a clear indication that his death was viewed as a result of an enemy action. The statement said one of the research units of the Defense Ministry in the Parchin area was hit.
The shadow war with Iran continues for Israel. Neither side wants to come out and admit they’re at war with each other, although all that’s missing is a Knesset vote. Israel’s unsettled political situation probably has something to do with Jerusalem’s restraint, but eventually, one side or the other will go too far and the real war will begin.
Story cited here.
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