Iran’s defense ministry claims to have stopped a drone attack amid conflicting reports coming out of the country. 

“One of the MAVs [micro aerial vehicles] was downed by the complex’s air defense fire, while the other two were caught in its defensive traps and exploded. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack did not cause any loss of life and caused minor damage to the workshop’s roof,” stated Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics. 

However, videos on social media (here, and here) appeared to show several attacks, with at least one resulting in a large fire. Furthermore, news site Iran International reported that eyewitnesses cited multiple attack sites but said the reports had not been verified.

Despite early reports that the drone attack was carried out by Israel, the drones’ origins have not been confirmed.

Drones have been used increasingly by national militaries and smaller militant groups. Iran itself has become a drone manufacturer, supplying drones to Russia for use against Ukraine. 

Jerusalem Post writer Seth Frantzman released a book in June 2021 that details the rise of drone warfare, including its impact on conflicts in the Middle East. 

Jason Brodsky, an expert on Iran and policy director for United Against Nuclear Iran, wrote on social media that “this operation tonight targeting the MODAFL [ammunition manufacturing] facility in Esfahan had a similar modus operandi to the one from June 2021 which attacked the TESA Karaj facility. In the latter, the drones were launched from inside Iran.”

Initial reports suggest the drones were quadcopter drones, which have four rotors. Quadcopter drones have a short flight range, suggesting they were launched from inside Iran. 

It is still not clear if Iran’s drone-production facility was targeted. 

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