A large explosion damaged an Iranian drone factory in Iran’s Isfahan province overnight, wounding at least nine people, The Guardian reports. Local residents said the massive blast shook windows at homes in the area.
The incident comes days after Prime Minister Netanyahu revealed that an armed Iranian drone flew into Israel from the east during the Gaza conflict. The timing of the explosion at the drone plant raises the possibility that it was a pinpoint Israeli revenge attack.
However, the blast may be followed by further operations in Iran as part of a strategic change. The Israeli defense establishment was already planning to boost its covert war inside Iran, and the recent war could now speed up the process given Iranian support for Gaza’s terror groups.
Punishing Iran for Gaza terror
A high-ranking officer acknowledged in March that Israel plans to increasingly move the conflict with Tehran to Iranian territory. Major General Tal Kalman, who heads the new IDF directorate focusing on this sensitive front, said that the army will be upgrading its capacity to secretly strike in Iran.
Later, a leading military analyst said that Israel will have to stage covert operations in Iran more often instead of settling for sporadic attacks by Mossad. The IDF must play a bigger role to make this secret campaign more effective, Alon-Ben David wrote.
Notably, the war in Gaza revealed that Hamas and Islamic Jihad significantly boosted their rocket power, with Iran’s help. Terror leaders openly admitted this and thanked Tehran for upgrading their military arsenal.
The IDF is now expected to adopt a more aggressive doctrine in Gaza and retaliate more harshly for future rocket attacks. However, Israel will likely also aim to hit Iran directly in a bid to disrupt and discourage its sponsorship of hostile elements, in Gaza and elsewhere.