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Iran's Army Launches Unscheduled Exercises Near Turkish Border

Iranian media released this photo showing unscheduled military exercises in northwest, close to Turkey's borders. October 9, 2019

Iran's regular army has held an unexpected drill northwest of the country, near the common border with Turkey on Wednesday, October 9.

The drill involving ground forces coincided with the news that Turkey might conduct a military operation in northeast Syria.

The Chief Commander of the Iranian Army, Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi attended the unannounced exercise.

The military drill involves rapid reaction units, mobile and attack brigades, and helicopters from the Army Ground Force's Airborne Unit.

Held with the theme "One Target, One bullet," the exercise is aimed at evaluating the combat preparedness of Iran’s army units and their mobility and agility in the battlefield, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)-run Tasnim news agency reported.

The reason behind holding the unscheduled drill has not been announced.

"Last midnight, the Army's ground forces units were ordered to conduct the exercise, and they immediately entered the area designated for the drill," Mousavi said, adding, "The maneuver is going on with desirable outcome."

The drill kicked off immediately after Turkey declared yesterday that it might conduct a military operation in northeast of Syria.

The exercise has been held in regions near Urmia, the capital of the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, close to the Iran-Turkey border.

A day earlier, in a phone conversation, the Islamic Republic Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had told his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, that Iran opposes any Turkish military operation in Syria.

Furthermore, Zarif urged Ankara to respect the Turkey-Syria 1998 Adana (anti-terrorism) treaty.

In 1998, Ankara and Damascus signed the Adana treaty to fight terrorism jointly. In accordance with the deal, several bases and training camps of the Kurdish PKK (which is considered a terrorist organization, along with the PYD and YPG, in Turkey) were closed in Syria.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Ankara announced it had completed preparations for a military operation in northeast Syria after the United States began pulling back its troops.