Iran blows fake US aircraft with missiles; Navy calls it 'irresponsible and reckless behaviour'
Washington, July 29: Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched missile from a helicopter targeting a replica US aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. It is reportedly said this exercise aimed at threatening the US amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.
The exercises, dubbed "Prophet Muhammad 14th", were held near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for a fifth of global oil output.
Through the footages of the war games that was broadcasted on state television shows the Guard's air and naval forces preparing for an attack off the country's southwestern coast.
Speedboats made a formation in the waters before ground forces fired cannons. A missile was also launched from a helicopter, smashing into the side of the fake warship.
However, the US Navy condemned Iran's "irresponsible and reckless behaviour", and called it as an attempt "to intimidate and coerce".
The US Navy 5th Fleet, which is based in the Gulf state of Bahrain, also criticised Iran's use of the replica aircraft carrier.
"We are aware of the Iranian exercise involving attacking a mock-up of a vessel similar to a motionless aircraft carrier," its spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich said in a statement in an email to a news agency.
"The US Navy conducts defensive exercises with our partners promoting maritime security in support of freedom of navigation; whereas, Iran conducts offensive exercises, attempting to intimidate and coerce," Commander Rebecca Rebarich further added.
On the other side, it can be seen that the novel coronavirus pandemic has engulfed both Iran and the US for months. There have been increasing signs of a confrontation as the US has argued for extend a years-long UN weapons embargo on Tehran that is due to expire in October.
It is reportedly said that the war games took place only days after Tehran accused the US fighter jets of harassing an Iranian commercial airliner over Syria.
At least four passengers on board the Mahan Air plane were injured in Thursday's incident after the pilot took emergency action to avoid the warplanes.