DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei thanked the country's armed forces for their attack this month on Israel, saying the country had demonstrated its power regardless of how many targets were hit, Iran's official news agency reported on Sunday.

In its first ever direct attack on Israel, Iran sent a barrage of more than 300 missiles and drones on April 13 in what it said was retaliation for Israel's suspected deadly strike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1.

Most of the missiles and drones were shot down by Israel and its allies and the attack caused modest damage in Israel.

"How many missiles were launched and how many of them hit their target is not the primary question, what really matters is that Iran demonstrated its power during that operation," Khamenei said on Sunday.

Early on Friday, explosions echoed over the Iranian city of Isfahan in what sources said was an Israeli attack. Tehran played down the incident and said it had no plans for retaliation - a response that appeared gauged towards averting region-wide war.

"In the recent operation, the armed forces managed to minimise costs and maximise gains," Khamenei added, urging military officials to "ceaselessly pursue military innovation and learn the enemy's tactics".

(Reporting by Dubai NewsroomEditing by Barbara Lewis and Frances Kerry)