Satellite images show result of Israel’s reported strike on Iran

An F-15 fighter jet is seen at an unidentified airbase after successfully protecting Israel’s airspace from an Iranian attack, April 14, 2024. Credit: IDF.

(JNS) — Satellite images published over the past 24 hours show damage to an air base near the central Iranian city of Isfahan following an Israeli strike carried out early in the morning on April 19.

Two images of the Shikari Air Base analyzed by the BBC show that part of an air defense system was damaged. BBC Verify analyzed optical and Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite imagery captured over Isfahan.

The United States said that Israel carried out a missile strike, while Tehran said that the attack involved three small drones that were neutralized. Jerusalem has not officially confirmed the attack.

According to a Kan News report, the Israeli-made “Rampage” air-to-surface missile was used in the attack. The 4.7-meter (15-foot) projectile can travel at supersonic speed (Mach 1.0–Mach 1.6), making it difficult for air defense systems to counter.

Shikari is located close to the Natanz nuclear site and is reportedly supposed to protect the facility.

The New York Times reported on April 20 that a high-tech missile hit a Russian-made S-300 air defense system at Shikari, citing two Iranian officials. Western officials told the newspaper that the strike was intended to show Tehran that Israel could break through Iran’s defense systems undetected and paralyze them.

According to the Times report, the missile was from a warplane fired “far from Israeli or Iranian airspace” and did not enter Jordanian airspace so as to not to involve Amman after it assisted in shooting down hundreds of Iranian aerial threats launched at Israel last weekend.

An Israeli official told The Washington Post that the assault “was intended to signal to Iran that Israel had the ability to strike inside the country.”

Jerusalem reportedly told the United States on April 18 that it planned to retaliate within a 24- to 48-hour window for Tehran’s massive drone and missile assault on April 14.

Russia is set to deliver the latest batch of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to Iran in the next few days, according to unconfirmed media reports, underscoring deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran. It was reported by Germany’s dpa news agency, citing Iranian media sources. It is part of a deal between the two countries announced last November.

The deal also included Yak-130 trainer aircraft and Mi-28 helicopters.

Russia has received attack and reconnaissance drones from Iran during its war with Ukraine, which it has deployed on the battlefield, using the kamikaze UAVs to target Ukrainian cities and critical infrastructure.