Iran drone strike targets defence factory as blaze engulfs facility

Iran: Explosion at warehouse in Isfahan

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Iran was rocked by a drone attack that appeared to target a defence factory in the city of Isfahan on Saturday night. Isfahan is located roughly 350km (215 miles) south of Tehran in the centre of Iran. It is also the home to the country’s Nuclear Fuel Research and Production Centre as well as an airbase for F-14 fighter jets.

The attack was captured on video and later posted to social media channels by onlookers, who had been drawn to the site after anti-aircraft guns opened fire.

In one dramatic clip, a flash of light and an explosion can be seen near some buildings along the Imam Khomeini Expressway, as cars and trucks pass by.

The man who is filming the attack says: “Oh my God! That was a drone, wasn’t it?

“Yeah, it was a drone.”

Iran’s Defence Ministry said three drones were launched at the facility around 11.30pm local time on Saturday.

They claimed two of the UAVs were shot down and that the third caused “minor damage” to the roof of a building.

Officials said there were no reported injuries or fatalities and remained tight lipped over who was behind the strike.

However, Tehran has been targeted previously by suspected Israeli drone attacks in the wake of the collapse of the nuclear deal.

Analysts from the Associated Press pinpointed the location of the attack to a site on Minoo Street in the northwestern part of Isfahan.

It is near a shopping centre that includes a carpet and electronics store.

Iran’s defence and nuclear sites are increasingly surrounded by commercial properties and residential neighbourhoods, as the country’s cities grow outwards.

The Defence Ministry simply referred to the site of the attack as a “workshop”, without specifying what was produced there.

It comes as a huge blaze engulfed an oil refinery near the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz.

The Fars News Agency said firefighters were struggling to contain the fire due to its intensity.

They reported: “The firefighting is still going on and the size and intensity of the fire made it difficult to extinguish.”

Currently, there has been no official confirmation as to the cause of the inferno.

Mohammad Baqer Hanbar, director general of crisis management of East Azerbaijan Governorate, said: “Right now, 25 fire engines at the site are extinguishing the fire.

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“So far, there has been one firefighter injured in this incident who suffered from smoke inhalation, and the person is in stable condition.”

Tabriz is approximately 520 kilometres (325 miles) northwest of Iran’s capital city, Tehran.

Iran was also struck by a magnitude-5.9 earthquake in West Azerbaijan province.

Initial reports claim that two people died and over 600 were injured.

Many village buildings were also said to have been damaged in the earthquake.

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