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Iran launches aerial drill over Gulf waters in 'show of strength'

FILE PHOTO: Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets of the Iranian army fly past during a military parade to commemorate army day in Tehran April 17, 2008. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

Iran’s air force and Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) carried out a joint aerial military drill in the Gulf, near the Straits of Hormuz, “in a show of strength”, IRNA reported Friday.

The drill involved fighter jets, including nine US-made F-4, four French Mirages, two ‘212’ helicopters, three Chinook helicopters, three Yak-12 aircrafts, and six Russian Sukhoi-22 planes, according to the report.

Deputy Commander of the Army for Publication and Public Relations Affairs Colonel Yousef Safipour told reporters on the sidelines of the maneuver that the war-game coincides with the occasion of the Sacred Defense Week.

He said the maneuver is the second such a joint maneuver, aiming to raise combat readiness.

The Islamic Republic has a large naval military drill, including approximately 600 naval vessels, planned on Saturday, IRNA reported.

“In addition to a show of strength, this ceremony is a message of peace and friendship for friendly and neighboring countries,” Colonel Yousef Safipour, the deputy commander of the army for public relations said, according to IRNA.

“And if the enemies and arrogant powers have an eye on the borders and land of Islamic Iran they will receive a pounding reply in the fraction of a second.”