Iranian military leaders declared Thursday the Islamic Republic would launch a "massive" set of drills that will include the regime's Army's Ground Force and 12,000 "combat and mobile forces" – and the war games are intended to send a message to Iran's "enemies."
According to the semi-official site Fars News, the drills will start Friday.
"The massive Eqtedar 97 war games of the Army's Ground Force will be staged for two days in an extensive area of Isfahan region on Friday," said Iranian General Kiomars Heidari, commander of its ground force, Fars News reported.
The general added "different home-made weapons will be tested in the drills and various types of military equipment, including helicopters, drones and fighter jets will be used" in the drills.”
"The message of war games for the friends of Iran is that they can consider the country's military capabilities as part of the power of Islam's army, meantime, adding that the Iranian army is always ready to give a crushing and quick response to any aggression by enemies," Heidari said, Fars reported.
The Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the dispatch, said Iran conducted similar military drills earlier this month. In those exercises, heavy bombers and large refueling planes, such as those made by Boeing, were used. Military leaders claimed other types of large transportation planes and drones carried "precision-striking missiles and long-range smart bombs," the Free Beacon reported.
According to the Free Beacon – which cited an interview on the Hezbollah's television channel that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute – Iraqi militia leaders have been operating in contested areas of Iraq, and Hezbollah has taught the jihadists how to build improvised explosive devices.
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