Iran Conducts Military Drill, Communicating Aggression
The Iranian army performed a 2-day drill involving 12,000 troops beginning January 25. This practice took place in the central Isfahan province. The army focused on “a special-forces rapid deployment battalion and a highly mobile offensive armored battalion.” According to the head of the ground forces, General Kiumars Heydari, the drill was intended to display the readiness of the Iranian armies to potential aggressors as well as to delight its friends.
During the drill, the Iranian army carried out and assessed the recently-developed rapid deployment tactics and other structural changes. They also practiced collaboration with airborne support and RF-4 jets, drones, artillery units, telecommunications, the infantry, and armed vehicles.
On January 21, a few days before the drill, the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against Iranian aggression when celebrating the new opening of an airport in the southern Israel. A day prior, Israel attacked Iranian targets in Syria in response to an Iranian missile fired from Syria towards Israel.
General Hussein Salami, the second-in-command of the Iranian Revolutionary Army, alsoexchanged threats with the Israelis. He warned that Israel would be obliterated before it could seek help from the U.S. if it continued to strike Syria. The drill itself, along with other military drills Iran exercises regularly and its constant exchanges of threats, aims to construct an image of overall aggression.