Earlier this week, Iran launched 10 days of aerial maneuvers in its northwest with a top Air Force Commander describing the drills as “offensive.”
“The first phase of the air force drills started Tuesday,” and the main phase beginning on September 13, Deputy Air Force commander Brigadier General Mohsen Darehbaghi said, quoted by Fars news agency.
The Deputy Commander in charge of the operations, Brigadier General Mohammad Alavi, separately described the drills as “offensive,” although he did not elaborate.
“In these maneuvers, we have designed a real war zone for the pilots,” as opposed to previous aerial “competitions,” Alavi said.
Iran’s Armed Forces regularly conduct such exercises to show the country’s military prowess and test-fire what they boast are home-made missiles.
“In this offensive drill we will show the world that the Air Force is always ready to defend the country’s space,” the state television website quoted Alavi as saying.
The air drills, which are to be staged over four phases, were “unprecedented since they will showcase numerous fighter sorties and tactical missions,” Alavi explained.
Tehran is under mounting international pressure over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks a drive to acquire atomic weapons capability - a charge the Islamic Republic vehemently denies.
The United States and Israel have not ruled out a military strike to curb Iran’s nuclear drive, prompting Tehran to threaten a crushing response.
Source: Khaleej Times; Fars