US Withdraws Its Drones After Iranian Warning Ahead of Massive Drills Near Strategic Strait of Hormuz
Story Code : 885630
The exercise in the eastern part of the Gulf of Oman is aimed at improving Iran's capabilities to repel “foreign threats and any possible invasion,” said Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who is in charge of the wargames.
The US had removed its drones from the area of the exercise after a warning from Tehran, Commodore Shahram Irani, the spokesman for the drills, told State TV. Before they were scared off, “we saw focused activities by American UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to gather information” about the drills, Irani later told the Iranian Armed Forces website. The claim has not yet been confirmed by Washington.
The exercise, codenamed Zolfaghar-99, will last for three days, covering an area of two million square kilometers. It will see Iran's naval, air and ground forces, including submarines and drones, working hand in hand.
Iran’s state TV has already aired the first footage from the wargames, showing the firing of short-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, with one projectile hitting a drone belonging to a simulated enemy. In another clip, Iranian airborne troops were filmed parachuting on ships and a submarine.