Iran blasts dummy U.S. aircraft carrier in Hormuz drill

Iran blasts dummy U.S. aircraft carrier in Hormuz drill

The military drill, code-named "Great Prophet-14", caused two American bases to go on alert, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington after a series of escalating incidents past year.

The US military said Tehran's missile launches were irresponsible.

Personnel at Al Udeid and Al Dhafra were ordered to take cover for several minutes until an all-clear was sounded.

The drill, called "Great Prophet 14", also sends a message to the United States.

The photo, posted on the Navy's Instagram account, featured a replica aircraft carrier built by Iran, along with the caption: "Iran builds target ship".

On Thursday a US fighter jet intercepted an Iranian airliner belonging to Mahan Airlines en route to Beirut over Syria and close to Al-Tanf American military base near Homs. The Islamic Republic appears to have constructed a new mockup of an aircraft carrier off its southern coast for potential live-fire drills.

The US Navy mocked Iran after it fired missiles at a replica US aircraft carrier on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Some surprise equipment and weapons were used, such as long-range ballistic missiles capable of striking offensive floating targets in the distance", General Abbas Nilforoushan, deputy commander for operations, was quoted by the Guards' Sepahnews website as saying.

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Drone footage captured by the Guard showed two missiles blasting out from covered positions in what appeared to be a desert plateau in central Iran, with debris flying up in the air in their wake.

While Iran's naval forces are dwarfed by the US Navy, its commanders practise swarm tactics aimed at overwhelming US carriers.

This military turmoil has not escaped the notice of the United States, which maintains a strong presence in Gulf waters and on the opposite shore, with bases in Qatar and Bahrain, and forces stationed in the United Arab Emirates.

The alarming drill comes just days after the USS Nimit entered Middle Eastern waters from the Indian Ocean.

Iran can not legally close the waterway, however the ships sailing through the region come under the responsibility of Iran's naval force.

It remains unclear when or if the Nimitz will pass through the Strait of Hormuz or not during its time in the Mideast.

But the US Navy stresses the strait is an worldwide waterway crucial to global shipping and energy supplies.

The US Fifth Fleet official also noted that despite the war games being carried out near the key regional waterways, including the Strait of Hormuz, which is responsible for a major part of global oil shipments, the operations of commercial vessels have not been disrupted.

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