Iran, Russia, China Start Joint Naval Drill in Sea of Oman

Associated Press (AP) IRNA Photo © Iranian Navy13.03.2024 Asia
Iran, Russia, China Start Joint Naval Drill in Sea of Oman

Iran, Russia, China Start Joint Naval Drill in Sea of Oman

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Naval forces from Iran, Russia and China have begun conducting joint drill in the Sea of Oman, their fifth common military exercise in recent years.

Dubbed “Maritime Security Belt 2024”, the naval exercise got underway on Tuesday with more than 20 ships, support vessels and combat boats from the three allies participating.

The drills will continue until Friday, IRNA news agency reported.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has dispatched ten heavy and light vessels, two helicopters and 420 armed support personnel to take part in the joint drills.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet, led by the Varyag cruiser, arrived at the Iranian port of Chabahar on Monday ahead of the drills, while China sent the guided-missile destroyer Urumqi and the guided-missile frigate Linyi to the exercise.

Naval forces from Oman, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and South Africa are acting as observers.

The joint exercise comes at a time of heightened tensions in the region over the Israeli war in the Gaza Strip, which has threatened to spiral into a wider regional conflict.

The drill’s purpose is to consolidate security and its foundations in the region and to expand multilateral cooperation among the participating countries to show their ability to jointly support world peace, maritime security, and to create a maritime group in the future.

Other goals of holding the drills include strengthening the security of international maritime trade, combating piracy and maritime terrorism, helping humanitarian measures such as exchange of information for maritime rescue operations and to exchange operational and tactical experiences.

In another development, Commander of the Iranian Army Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi has appointed Second Brigadier General Qassem Khamoushi as the new commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation (IRIAA).

In a decree on Tuesday, General Mousavi appointed General Khamoushi as the new commander of the IRIAA, replacing Brigadier General Yousef Ghorbani.

General Khamoushi had served as Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army’s Air Force.



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