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Iran Fires Missiles at Fake US Carrier, Putting American Forces on Alert
A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian news agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman. (AFP via Getty Images)

Iran Fires Missiles at Fake US Carrier, Putting American Forces on Alert

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps conducted a surprisingly large military drill on Tuesday, firing several missiles at a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. The missiles were launched at the fake vessel from an array of platforms including warships, attack helicopters and land-based launch vehicles. While the drill itself, named “Prophet Mohammed 14th,” was anticipated in advance by the American military, the surprisingly high volume of launches and the detection of ballistic activity caused army bases in nearby Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to be placed on alert. The region, especially the strategic Strait of Hormuz naval passage, has seen increased tension between the two nations in recent months. Last summer, four commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman, including two Saudi oil tankers, were attacked using mines, with footage released by the US linking Tehran to the incident. Shortly thereafter, Iranian forces shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran claiming the drone had violated its airspace. The US rejected the accusation. Just last week, two US fighter jets approached an Iranian passenger plane headed to Beirut over Syrian airspace. Several passengers were injured in the incident, as the pilot was forced to abruptly change altitude in midair.

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