Iranian jets fly over western borders as drills continue

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Tehran—Iran’s fighter jets have carried out numerous sorties over the country’s western borders as part of joint military drills by the Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) which continued for the second day on Monday.

Combat aircraft of the Army conducted surveillance and aerial maneuvers as they exercised providing cover for rapid reaction units on the ground, the Fars news agency reported. 

The Army is holding its Heydar Karrar drills simultaneously with IRGC’s Moharram exercises, in which special forces of Iran’s ground, airborne and air forces are assessing their capabilities to coordinate operations.

The exercises feature aerial and electronic warfare and testing of drone, armored, rapid reaction, infantry and artillery divisions. The drills are meant to evaluate these divisions’ combat readiness, coordination and response to possible threats.  

The exercises are part of annual events to mark the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran in 1980 which led to an eight-year war. 

The IRGC’s maneuvers, centered in the Oshnavieh border region, include artillery, armored and airborne units.

The country’s northwest has repeatedly witnessed inroads by terrorist and anti-revolutionary elements and hence constitutes a focus of the IRGC’s counter-terrorism operations. Clashes with PJAK militant groups based in Iraq are a frequent occurrence in the border area.

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