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Israel’s Attack On Iran Targeted S-300 Air Defence System: Report

The Isfahan province in Iran was hit with drone and missile strikes last week. The attack reportedly originated from Israel and targeted a region which houses Iran’s nuclear facility and air defence systems. 

American news agencies said Israel conducted the attacks, meanwhile, the Jewish state neither agreed nor denied carrying out the strikes. The explosions occurred a week after Iran launched a relentless drone, cruise and ballistic missile attack on Israel, its arch-rival in the region. The targeted strikes from Tehran were unprecedented and occurred after tensions reached their brim. 

The New York Times and the BBC have analysed satellite images of the region that was struck by drones and a missile, reportedly launched from a warplane. The satellite images show a battery of the Russian-origin S-300 Surface-Air anti-ballistic missile defence system positioned northeast of the Isafan International Airport. The satellite images show the S-300 defence system located at the secret facility on April 15. The latest image on Google Earth from April 19 shows the place empty, with no traces of the S-300 missile defence system present. The Natanz nuclear facility is located north of the site of the attack.

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The system comprises several vehicles equipped with radar, distinctive missile launchers and other equipment, the BBC reported based on its analysis. The drones and missiles reportedly struck the system, implying that Israeli weapons managed to evade the Iranian air defence system and went undetected and hit a region armed with an anti-ballistic missile defence system. 

The two Iranian officials said that Iran’s military had not detected anything entering Iran’s airspace on Friday, including drones, missiles and aircraft, the New York Times reported. The assessment is backed by Iran’s state media agency IRNA, which said, no missile attacks had occurred and that Iran’s air defence system had not been activated. The satellite images assessed by the BBC and the New York Times show damage to the facility.

The BBC said the radar of the S-300 defence system was damaged but the missile launchers were intact. The fire control radar directs the missile toward the target and is an important element in the system. Iran International, a news agency critical of the regime, said, “The image shows clearly that the system’s engagement radar, which guides the surface-to-air missiles, has been destroyed,” Farzin Nadimi, a Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute, told the agency.

The extent of the damage is still unknown and what weapons were used reportedly by Israel is still unclear as both sides have denied the claims. However, the New York Times, quoting Western officials, reported that Israel’s attack was calculated to deliver a message to Iran that it could bypass its defence systems undetected, adding that, neither the missile nor the aircraft that fired it entered Jordanian airspace, the Western officials said.

Russia completed the delivery of the S-300 air defence system to Iran in 2016 after years of negotiation. The supply of one of the most formidable air defence systems sparked concerns within Israel. In 2010, Russia was forced to scrap the deal with Iran following pressure from the West.

Source: NDTV

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