Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fired a missile from a helicopter targeting a duplicatecombat shipwithin the strategic Strait of Hormuz, state television reported on Tuesday, an exercise geared toward threatening the US amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.
The drill, during a waterway through which 20 per cent of all traded oil passes, underlines the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and therefore the U.S. after last summer saw a series of incidents targeting oil tankers within the region. In January, a US drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad and Tehran responded by firing ballistic missiles targeting American forces in Iraq.
While the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and also the U.S. for months, there are increasing signs of a confrontation as America argues to increase a yearslong U.N. weapons embargo on Tehran that’sthanks 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 within the footage aired Tuesday from the exercise called “Great Prophet 14.” Other footage showed fast boats encircling the mock-up, kicking up white waves in their wake.
Iranian troops also fired anti-aircraft batteries at a drone target within the exercise from a location that state television described as being near the port city of Bandar Abbas. Troops also fired missiles launched from trucks ashore and fast boats bemused, yet as shoulder-fired missiles. The Guard will use “long-range ballistic missiles with the power to hit far-reaching aggressor floating targets” during the drill, said Abbas Nilforoushan, the Guard’s deputy commander for operations, per Guard website sepahnews.com. that means the drill could see a repeat of what happened in 2015, when the Guard mock-sunk a duplicate.
It wasn’t immediately clear if all the footage was from Tuesday, in concert overhead surveillance image that gave the impression to be shot by a drone bore Monday’s date. “Our policies to safeguard the vital interests of the dear nation of Iran are defensive, within the sense that we’ll not invade any country from the start, but we are completely aggressive in tactics and operations,” Gen. Hossein Salami, the pinnacle of the Guard, was quoted as saying. “What was shown today at this exercise at the extent of aerospace and service was all offensive.”