In a show of military strength, the Iranian army, on Thursday, began a massive military drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, local media reported.
According to Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, chief of Iran's ground forces, the maneuvers are aimed at increasing the country’s defense capabilities and training younger Iranian soldiers, Al-Arabiya reported, citing state television. The drill is also expected to involve the testing of ballistic missiles and drones. The drill includes exercises by ground units deployed in southeastern Iran until Friday, while the country’s air force and navy are scheduled to begin their exercises over the weekend.
The report also stated that the drill would last for a week and be carried out over 850,000 square miles in the northern part of the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Oman and the eastern part of the Strait of Hormuz, through which about one-fifth of the world's oil supply passes, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The Iranian government had announced last week that units from the Revolutionary Guard would also participate in the drill, during which new weapons would be test-fired, AP reported.
According to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP), nearly 13,000 personnel will participate in the drills, marking the first military maneuvers that Iran has ever organized from its coastline.
The United States maintains a significant presence in the Persian Gulf, but the drills will pose “no danger to foreign forces in the Persian Gulf,” a senior Iranian army official was quoted by AFP as saying.