Israel launched a retaliatory attack against Iran on Friday, according to news reports, nearly a week after Tehran's unprecedented strike on the country with hundreds of missiles and drones.

Explosions were heard near an airport in the central Iranian province of Isfahan but nuclear facilities in the province were not damaged, local media reported.

An air force base near the city of Isfahan was targeted, The New York Times reported, citing three Iranian officials. An Iranian military source told Kyodo News that the army intercepted three unmanned aircraft near the military base.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system launches interceptor missiles from central Israel on April 14, 2024, to destroy missiles fired by Iran. (AP/Kyodo)

U.S. media initially said Israel's assault involved missiles but Reuters news agency, quoting an Iranian official, reported that this was not the case.

Explosions heard in Isfahan were a result of Iran's air defense systems being activated, Reuters said, quoting the Iranian official. Iranian aviation authorities suspended flights over Isfahan, as well as western and southwestern parts of Iran, local media reported.

Bloomberg reported that Israeli officials had notified the United States Thursday that they planned to retaliate in the next 24 to 48 hours, citing two U.S. officials.

The development comes after Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles against Israel on Saturday evening to the following morning, according to an Israeli military spokesman, marking Tehran's first direct attack on Israeli territory.

Iran said at the time the attack was in response to a deadly strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria's capital city of Damascus on April 1.

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