- Hit By Chain of Explosions And Fires, Iran Puts Air Defenses on High Alert: Report
US intelligence said to assess that Iran primed several air defense batteries for repelling attacks
Iran has put some of its air defense batteries on high alert, CNN reported Thursday, citing a US official with knowledge on the matter. According to the official cited by the channel, the US does not view the high alert order, which means the air defense batteries are prepared to fire at anything that looks like a threat, as part of a military exercise.
Instead, the official said, it is interpreted as a reaction to the chain of mysterious blasts and fires reported across Iran over the past few weeks. The incidents included a fire at the port of Bushehr on Wednesday, which saw seven vessels come ablaze. On Monday, a fire was reported in an industrial zone in the vicinity of Mashhad, a city in the country’s north-east, and on Sunday, Mahshahr area saw a fire at a petrochemical plant.
Earlier in the month, blasts were also reported at Iranian military facilities and the Natanz nuclear site. The latter is the only one so far where the Iranian officials did not reveal the cause of the explosion after claiming they had established it.
In January this year, Iran also put its anti-air batteries on high alert as it anticipated a retaliatory attack after launching a ballistic strike at the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq, which is hosting US troops.
In what Iran described as a tragic mistake caused by human error, it downed a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet departing from the capital with two missiles as an air defense crew took it for a cruise missile heading towards Tehran.