During drills, Iran warns off U.S. warships

January 22, 2018

The Iranian Army has warned off two U.S.-led coalition battleships during the first day of military exercises involving ground, naval, and aerial forces in southern Iran.

The military drills kicked off early on Monday on an order by Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the Army’s deputy commander for coordination.

The exercises cover an expanse of three million square kilometers in area in Iran’s south and southeast, the Makran Coast, and other areas in the Gulf of Oman.

Later on Monday, Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, the spokesperson for the drills, said two U.S.-led coalition warships that had approached the site of the drills for surveillance were identified by Iranian Navy drones, which communicated data back to command and control. Iranian patrol and surveillance airplanes were then dispatched to the area and flew over the battleships, warning them to leave, he added. The battleships complied, according to Mousavi.

Mousavi also said that the ground forces fired a Fajr 5 rocket and a Naze’at missile as part of defense exercises during the first day of the drills.

Later in the day, he said, Special Forces and commando units guarding the coastline moved to destroy intruding enemy vessels.

Still later, ground forces moved in to back up the Navy in defending the coastline and preventing enemy forces from infiltrating into Iranian land; and the Fajr 5 rocket and Naze’at missile were fired during that phase, Mousavi said.

He said the Air Force conducted sorties to reinforce ground and naval forces, and the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base monitored the field of fight.

Iran regularly conducts drills to maintain defensive readiness and to incorporate technologically new weapons systems.

SP/PA

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