April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack (2024)

12:22 a.m. ET, April 20, 2024

Our live coverage of the attack on Iran hasmoved here.

11:26 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

Iranian president makes no mention of Israeli strike while lauding its previous weekend attack

From CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali

April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack (1)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi made no mention of Israel's Friday (local time) strike on Iran, while publicly lauding the unprecedentedIranian military operation last weekendtargeting the "Israeli-occupied territories."

Iran'sApril 13 retaliatorystrikes, part of an operation named "True Promise," were a display of Iran's military strength and a necessary act against what Raisi called the "illegal regime," he said Friday.

Raisi described the strikes as "punitive reprisal" by the Iranian Armed Forces, aimed at demonstrating Iran's power and the resolve of its people.

Remember: The on April 1 strikes on Iran's embassy compound in Damascus demolished a building and left several dead, including two high-ranking generals.

Israel and the United States have said that Iran's lob of some 300 missiles had very little material impact and caused only one injury.

8:52 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

3 wounded in Iraq explosions, official says. Israel denies involvement

From CNN's Aqeel Najim and Hamdi Alkhshali

April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack (2)

At least three members of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units or PMU — also called Popular Mobilization Forces or PMF — were wounded following "five explosions"at a military base south of Baghdad, said Muhannad al-Anazi, member of the Security Committee in Babylon Governorate, in a statement in the early hours of Saturday local time.

A short statement released by the PMU acknowledged there was “an explosion that occurred at the headquarters of the Popular Mobilization Forces at the Kalsu military base in the Al-Mashrou district on the highway, north of the Babylon Governorate."

An investigation team arrived at the scene, and the explosion caused material losses and injuries, the PMU said. “We will provide you with the details once the preliminary investigation is completed," it added.

Israel has no involvement in the reports of explosions in Iraq on Friday evening, an Israeli official told CNN.

The US Central Command said the US did not carry out strikes in Iraq. The Combined Joint Task Force that leads Operation Inherent Resolve, which is the ongoing multinational mission to defeat ISIS, also said the US-led coalition did not carry out any strikes in Iraq.

Remember: The explosions near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad come one day after strikes against a military base in Isfahan, Iran. A US official told CNN that Israel was responsible for the strikes in Iran.

This post has been updated with comments from an Israeli and US official.

7:10 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

Catch up on the latest developments as tensions simmer in the Middle East

From CNN staff

The aftermath of the Israeli strikes in Iran left the world on edge as concerns of a potentially dangerous escalation of a fast-widening Middle East conflict continue to rise.

Here's the immediate response almost 24 hours after the strikes:

  • The Biden administration has been tight-lipped following the Israeli strikes in Iran.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart on Friday, according to a readout from the Pentagon, but it makes no mention of the Israeli strikes.
  • Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also declined to weigh in Friday, telling reporters during the White House press briefing the Biden administration was going to avoid commenting on the subject altogether.
  • Iraq expressed "deep concern" over the strikes and the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday warned of the risks of military escalation that "now threaten the security and stability of the region as a whole." Its statement emphasized that the Israeli-Iranian escalation should not "divert attention" from the ongoing destruction and loss of innocent lives in the Gaza Strip.
  • Jordanian deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi told CNN that escalation "serves nobody," and that Jordan will not "be a battleground for Israel and Iran and neither of them should violate our airspace, endanger our security and our people." He also urged all involved partied to focus on ending the "catastrophe that continues to unfold in Gaza."

Here's what else happened:

  • USsecureskeyagreementforaiddistributionin Gaza: TheBidenadministration hassecuredanagreementwith a major United Nations agency to distributeaid fromthepiertheUSmilitaryis constructingoffthecoastofGaza, two seniorUSofficials told CNN — akeydevelopment as theUSand its allieshaverushedto finalize plansforhow desperately needed humanitarianaidwill be distributed inside the war-torn strip. TheUSmilitaryis expected to finishconstructing thepierearly next month.The World Food Programme (WFP) will supportdistributionofaidfromthepierfollowing weeks of diplomatic wrangling, multipleofficials familiar with the matter told CNN.
  • Blinken defends US veto on Palestinian statehood: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution for Palestinian statehood at the UN. “The United States is committed to achieving a Palestinian state,” the top US diplomat said, “but getting to that, achieving that state, has to be done through diplomacy, not through imposition.”
5:15 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

US Defense Secretary speaks with Israeli counterpart again following strikes in Iran

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart on Friday, according to a readout from the Pentagon.

This comes one day after Israel carried out strikes in Iran. The readout makes no mention of the Israeli strikes, and the Biden administration has been tight-lipped following the actions.

Austin and Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discussed “regional stability,” as well as the ongoing war in Gaza, according to the Pentagon.

Austin also spoke with Gallant on Thursday before the strikes took place. The readout of the earlier call had slightly more information, saying the two discussed “Iran’s destabilizing actions in the Middle East.”

In a previous call, Austin had asked Gallant for Israel to notify the US before taking any action in retaliation for a massive Iranian barrage fired at Israel last weekend.

5:10 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

Analysis: IranandIsraelhaveavertedanall-outwar–fornow

Analysis from CNN's Tamara Qiblawi in Beirut, Lebanon

The scope ofIsrael’s military response toIran’s first-ever direct attack on the country remains murky.Israeli officialshaveyet to publicly acknowledge responsibilityforreported overnight explosions in parts ofIranon Friday. Tehranhas dismissed these as attacks by “tiny drones” that were shot down by its air defense systems.

Iranmay be downplaying what was likely tohavebeen a significant but limitedIsraeli attack, but that seems to be secondary to the largerforces at play. What is plain to see is that bothIranandIsraelare keen to wrap up the most dangerous escalation between the two regional powerhouses to date.

This month’s dramatic escalation, which kicked off withanapparentIsraeli airstrike onIran’s consulate in Damascus, followed by a largely foiledIranianattack of over 300 airborne weapons onIsrael, seems tohavegiven way to a rapid climbdown. Shortly after the Friday morning attack inIran, a regional intelligence source told CNN thatIranwas not expected to respond further,andthat the direct state-to-state strikes between the two enemy states were over.

The latest flare-up brought the stakes into sharp focus, but it also exposed the limits of a direct confrontation betweenIranandIsrael.

Remember: What happens betweenIranandIsraelrarely stays betweenIranandIsrael. The region is deeply intertwined. That heightens the risks of military action, but it also acts as guardrails against a potential conflagration. So when US officials said last weekend that Washington would not participate inanIsraeli response toIran’s attack onIsrael, that seemed to immediately take the wind out of the sails of a potential escalation.

5:03 p.m. ET, April 19, 2024

EUsanctions "extremist settlers" in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem

From CNN’s Catherine Nicholls and Benjamin Brown in London

The European Union has imposed sanctions on “extremist settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem,” the European Council announced on Friday, listing four people and two entities.

According to the statement, the entities Lehava, a “radical right-wing Jewish supremacist group,” and Hilltop Youth, a “radical youth group consisting of members known for violent acts against Palestinians and their villages in the West Bank,” were added to the EU sanctions regime alongside two leading figures of Hilltop Youth, Meir EttingerandElisha Yered.

Neria Ben Pazi, who the EU's governing body said has been “accused of repeatedly attacking Palestinians,” and Yinon Levi, who the council said has “taken part in multiple violent acts against neighbouring villages,” were also added to the listing.

The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said in apost on Xthat “the EU has decided to sanction extremist settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem for serious human rights abuses against Palestinians. We strongly condemn extremist settler violence: perpetrators must be held to account.”

Belgium’s Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib said that she“welcomes” the sanctions, adding that the “recent escalation of violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop; these settlers must be held accountable.”

Yered responded later Friday, saying he was “honoredtobe included in this respected list”andthat “we shall continue holding ontothe landof our forefathers — untilthevictory.”

This post has been updated with comment from Elisha Yered.

11:53 a.m. ET, April 19, 2024

Exclusive: No extensive damage seen at Isfahan air base in satellite images

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy

April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack (3)

There does not appear to be any extensive damage at an air base purportedly targeted by an Israeli military strike, according to exclusive satellite images obtained by CNN from Umbra Space.

The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite images were taken around 10:18 a.m. local time.

There does not appear to be any large craters in the ground and there are no apparent destroyed buildings.Additional visual satellite imagery will be needed to check for burn scars – which cannot be seen by SAR images -- around the complex.

SAR images are not like normal satellite images.

The SAR images are created by a satellite transmitting radar beams capable of passing through clouds, like the ones currently preventing satellites from imaging the area.Those radar beams bounce off objects on the ground, and echo back to the satellite.

Iranian news agency FARS said that an army radar at the Isfahan province military base was one of the possible targets, and that the only damage from the attack was broken windows on several office buildings.

The images also show that the Iranian F-14 Tomcats that have been stationed at the air base in the past are not there at the moment.Additional archival satellite imagery reviewed by CNN shows that those F-14 Tomcats have not been there for some time.

11:05 a.m. ET, April 19, 2024

UN secretary-general pushes for end to retaliation in the Middle East

From CNN's Richard Roth

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has urged both sides to cease retaliating after Israel carried out a military strike on Iran, a spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.

"The Secretary-General reiterates that it is high time to stop the dangerous cycle of retaliation in the Middle East," the statement read.
"The Secretary-General condemns any act of retaliation and appeals to the international community to work together to prevent any further development that could lead to devastating consequences for the entire region and beyond," it continued.
April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack (2024)


April 19, 2024 - Iran targeted in aerial attack? ›

An Iranian official said air defenses intercepted three drones close to an airbase in Isfahan province, where explosions were reported. Exclusive satellite images obtained by CNN appear to show no extensive damage at the airbase.

Why is Israel fighting with Iran? ›

Israel sees Iran as an existential threat, and accuses its regime of harboring genocidal intentions. Consequently, Israel has sought sanctions and military action against Iran to stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Is Iran stronger than Israel? ›

Iran's military is viewed as one of the strongest in the region in terms of equipment, cohesion, experience and quality of personnel, but it lags far behind the power and sophistication of the armed forces of the United States, Israel and some European countries, experts said.

What did Israel target in Iran? ›

The eventual strike on Friday appeared to target a Iranian Air Force base near the city of Isfahan, deep inside the country and close enough to nuclear facilities to send a message of Israel's reach but without using airplanes, ballistic missiles, striking any strategic sites or causing major damage.

When did Iran strike Israel? ›

Several countries in the Middle East preemptively closed their airspace a few hours prior to Iran launching a standoff attack against Israel around midnight on 13 April.

What did Iran say about Israel? ›

Iran had warned Israel before Friday's strike that Tehran would deliver a severe response to any attack on its territory, and had told the U.N. Security Council that Israel must be compelled to stop further "military adventurism against our interests".

Which countries are Israel allies? ›

Arab–Israeli alliance
  • Israel.
  • Bahrain.
  • Saudi Arabia.
  • United Arab Emirates.
  • Jordan.

How close is Israel and Iran? ›

Israel is just as far away from Iran as Iran from Jeddah (1,799 km), Tashkent (1,771 km), Beirut (1,644 km), Multan (1,769 km), Hyderabad (1,667 km), Mecca (1,756 km), Ra's Bayrūt (1,646 km), Adana (1,709 km), Peshawar (1,744 km), Jerusalem (1,677 km).


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