Iran has warned military and civilian aircrafts from wandering in the country’s southern region where a five-day large scale military exercise kicked off, adding that they risk being shot down. The military drill has been codenamed Defenders of Velayat Skies 7/Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat, it constitutes cyber and electronic warfare, artillery, missile and radar equipment.
In a statement issued by Brigadier General Farzad Esmali who is the commander of Iran’s air force, he warned that foreign aircraft trespassing the airspace where the drill is being conducted would be shot down. He also emphasized that there was presence of several trans-regional planes outside the sea and air borders urging them to know their limits, failure to which they’ll be shot down.
Following the U.N.’s move to lift sanctions in the aftermath of the nuclear deal, Iran started receiving the advanced missile system. Iran faced objection from Israel and the U.S. on the controversial nuclear program.
The military drill involves test firing of the Russian built S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile defense system and the U.S. made F-4 Phantom II fighter jets. The military drill constitutes more than 17,000 military forces comprised of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, troops from the army, and Basij forces. Thee Iran troops are participating in wargames in an area over 300,000 square miles. The military spokesman Abbas Farajpour Alamdari said that the goal of the military drill is to create better coordination between Iran’s forces.
A senior Iranian commander has pointed out that the recent victory for President Bashar Al Assad in Aleppo was a strategic victory for Iran as he praised Iran’s domination in the battle of Aleppo. Gen. Hossein Salami told Hezbollah-linked Al Mayadeen channel that Hezbollah has become an influential regional power that is at par with Saudi Arabia, United States, and the Zionist entity.