Following the drone attack on an Iranian military facility on Saturday. Aircraft targeted a convoy of trucks crossing from Iraq to Syria carrying Iranian cargo.
Both attacks seem to have been conducted by Israel and Iranian officials except denying damage, have so far not issued their customary threats against Israel. While saber-rattling by IRGC commanders against Israel may still take place, so far, they have been silent, amid the embarrassing public fallout from the attack.
However, Mohammad Marandi an influential regime insider tweeted, “Not a good week for the apartheid regime [Israel] either at home or abroad.”
Those Iranians who have been protesting for more than four months against the clerical regime were quick to point out the inability of the Revolutionary Guard to defend its own military installations hundreds of kilometers from the nearest border.
It is not clear what the role of military installation in Esfahan was. The Iranian defense ministry said that it was an ammunition production center, while other reports pointed to drone and possibly missile production.
However, media controlled by hardliners in Iran continued to publish news about Israeli “barbarity” against Palestinians. Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a call with Palestinian militant leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to express support after bloody events in the past few days, Tasnim news agency linked to the Revolutionary Guard reported.
Ziyad al-Nakhalah the leader of the Islamic Jihad thanked Amir-Abdollahian for “the principled positions of the Islamic Republic in defending the Palestinian people and the Islamic resistance.” He added, “We are proud of positions [taken by] the Islamic Republic.”
Government controlled media in Tehran claimed that the 25-truck convoy attacked on the Iraqi-Syrian border was carrying flour and food, while the route taken is a customary juncture for weapons deliveries to Iranian proxies in Syria and Lebanon. Suspected Israeli attacks have targeted trucks and warehouses near the Iranian controlled al-Qaim border crossing multiple times.
Al-Arabiya that first reported the attack said that the aircraft first fired a warning shot to give a chance to the truck drivers to leave their vehicles. A Europe-based Syrian activist and researcher reported the trucks belonged to Iranian proxy militias, and the attack also targeted a meeting of Iranian commanders inside the Syrian border region.
Following a report by the Wall Street Journal Sunday, the New York Times also quoted US officials that the drone attack in Esfahan on Saturday was the work of the Mossad.
The NYT also mentioned that the facility might have been related to missile production and referred to Iran supplying Russia with drones used against Ukraine, as well as possible missile deliveries to Moscow in the future.
Major American media quoting US officials about Israel having conducted the attack seemed to be an attempt to highlight that the United States was not involved. But large joint military drills with Israel last week are highlighted in Iranian media. The Islamic Republic is bound to see the attack as part of expanding US-Israeli close cooperation.