April 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Carried Out Strikes in Iran, U.S. Officials Say

April 19, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Carried Out Strikes in Iran, U.S. Officials Say

Latest Developments

Israel carried out strikes inside Iran on April 19, firing three missiles from fighter jets operating outside of Iran, according to a senior U.S. official cited by ABC News. The target of the strike was reportedly an “air defense radar site near Isfahan that’s part of the protection of the Natanz nuclear facility.” The initial estimate is that the strike was successful, but the assessment is apparently ongoing.

The United States received “last minute” information from Israel about an impending strike according to the Associated Press, but Israel’s government has yet to take responsibility for the attack. The strike comes five days after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles targeting Israel. A large majority of missiles and drones launched at Israel by Tehran and its proxies failed to strike Israel thanks to the air defense efforts of Israel, the United States, and other countries.  

Expert Analysis

“This is a clear message that Israel has the capabilities to penetrate Iran’s defenses and strike at its most valuable assets. Iran’s supreme leader should be concerned that his crown jewels — Iran’s nuclear facilities, leadership, and infrastructure critical to its economy — could be next.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“If reporting is accurate, Israel did with three missiles what Iran could not do with more than 300 missiles and drones. Israel has demonstrated the political will and military capability to strike inside Iran — something Israel had to do. Israel picked a very meaningful target, demonstrating an ability to hit some of the eyes and ears protecting Iran’s nuclear program with the clear message from Israel to Iran that there is much more where those three missiles came from. The Iranian attack looks like a crazy and out of control child lashing out ineffectively, and the Israeli response looks like a calm, confident, and competent adult spanking a child.” Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“The reports of airstrikes in Iran are important to deter Iran from further attacks on Israel. Iran supported Hamas’s attack on Israel on October 7 and has pushed its proxies and allies in Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria to carry out attacks on Israel and U.S. forces over the past six months. Iran’s latest aggression so far as to attack Israel with more than 300 drones and missiles. Iran must be deterred from further attacks, and Israel should be supported in its right to respond to Iranian attacks.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

Iran Downplays Airstrikes

Iran downplayed the reports of airstrikes near Isfahan and said it would not retaliate. An Iranian official cast doubt that Israel was the source of the attack, and Iranian pro-government media played footage of Isfahan showing quiet and illustrating that people were going about their day normally.

Hezbollah Rocket Fire and Incidents in Syria

Sirens sounded in northern Israel on the morning of April 19, indicating Hezbollah rocket fire. At the same time as the attacks in Isfahan, six Israeli fighter jets reportedly struck an air defense system in southern Syria.

Israel Promises Response to Iran Attack as World Leaders Urge Restraint,” FDD Flash Brief

White House Defends $10 Billion Sanctions Waiver to Iran Following Attack,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Rocket Fire Wounds 18 in Northern Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

What We Can Learn From Iran’s Attack on Israel,” FDD Insight by Bradley Bowman, Ryan Brobst, and Mike Daum

Jerusalem and Tehran Consider Their Options,” FDD Foreign Podicy Podcast with Clifford D. May, RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, Bradley Bowman, and Behnam Ben Taleblu


Hezbollah Iran Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power Syria