News ID: 131260
Published: 0256 GMT November 20, 2015

Basij forces stage military drill

Basij forces stage military drill

Thousands of the Iranian Basij (volunteer) forces on Friday attended a large-scale war game, codenamed ‘Ela Beit-ul-Muqaddas' (Towards Beit-ul-Muqaddas), held near the holy city of Qom.

The main stage of the military exercise kicked off on Friday morning with the participation of 120 Basij battalions, Tasnim News Agency reported.

High-ranking military officials, including Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami, IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, IRGC Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, Basij Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, were present in the maneuver.

In a speech to participants in the war game, Major General Jafari hailed the country’s Basij forces in defending the country.

He said that safeguarding the Islamic Revolution is one of the messages of the large-scale maneuvers.

“We should update our power” as the nature of threats against the Islamic Ummah is changing, the commander said, adding that the ongoing maneuver is an exercise to counter possible “extra-regional threats and proxy wars against our country.”

The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer force established in 1979 on the order of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini.

The force consists of often young Iranians, who have volunteered, with a strong sense of fidelity to both the Islamic system and the religious beliefs.

Iran has conducted several drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipments.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly said that its military might poses no threat to other countries, reiterating that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.


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