Jon Gambrell – AFP July 29, 2020
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched missiles Tuesday targeting a mock aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a drill that included such a barrage of fire the U.S. military temporarily put two regional bases in the Mideast on alert amid tensions between the two countries.
The drill — and the American response to it — underlined the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S. after a series of escalating incidents last year led to an American drone strike killing a top Iranian general in Baghdad. Tehran responded to that strike by firing ballistic missiles that wounded dozens of American forces in Iraq.
While the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and the U.S. for months, there has been a growing confrontation as America argues to extend a yearslong U.N. weapons embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October. A recent incident over Syria involving an American jet fighter approaching an Iranian passenger plane also has renewed tensions.
Iranian commandos fast-roped down from a helicopter onto the replica in the footage aired Tuesday from the exercise called “Great Prophet 14.” Anti-aircraft guns opened fire on a target drone near the port city of Bandar Abbas.
State television footage also showed a variety of missiles being fired from fast boats, trucks, mobile launchers and a helicopter, some targeting the fake carrier. A commander said the Guard, a force answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, planned to fire “long-range ballistic missiles” as well during the drill that will continue Wednesday.
Ballistic missile fire detected from the drill resulted in American troops being put on alert at Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s Central Command in Qatar, the military said. Troops sought cover during that time.
“The incident lasted for a matter of minutes and an all clear was declared after the threat … had passed,” said U.S. Army Maj. Beth Riordan, a Central Command spokeswoman.
Both bases are hundreds of kilometers (miles) away from where Iran put the replica aircraft carrier.
Camouflaged Missiles Fired from Underground during Iran War Games
IFP News – July 29, 2020
Day two of the final phase of major war games by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) saw ballistic missiles fired from deep inside the ground.
The projectiles were completely camouflaged before their launch.
During the drills, the IRGC’s aerospace division, using modern tactics and equipment, displayed part of its capabilities in countering threats posed by the mock enemy.
Earlier, missiles were fired at a US mock aircraft carrier moved by Iran to the Persian Gulf.
The military exercises spans Hormozgan province, the west of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf all the way into the heart of the country. The war games feature land, sea, air and space drills.
In the final phase of the maneuvers, missile, vessel and drone units of the IRGC’s Naval Force as well as the missile, drone and radar units of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division carry out operations and drills.