Iranian Army forces have begun holding large-scale three-day naval drills in the country’s southern waters since Thursday morning from east of the Hormuz Strait to the northern Indian Ocean with an aim to enhance the security of regional waters and international shipping routes.
"Following the announcement of the start of the Zolfaqar 99 Military drills, the Air Defense Force warned all foreign drones flying near the exercise site to leave the general zone of the drills," said the naval drills spokesman Rear Admiral Shahram Irani.
“Since then, we have been witnessing a noticeable change in the activities of American drones," Admiral Irani stressed, according to a report by Mehr News Agency (MNA).
"With continuous naval patrols and monitoring the general area of the military exercise, the Air Force and Navy units of the Army, including P3F, F-27 aircraft and reconnaissance drones have warned the trans-regional units to leave the area of Zolfaqar drill," he added.
Stating that during the exercise they witnessed different and focused activities of American drones to collect information from the exercise area, Irani said, "These activities were discovered by the Army's signal recognition systems, and the drones were warned by the air defense."
"They were forced to leave the area after seeing the level of readiness of the surveillance, identification and defense systems of Iran Army," he added.
The three-day military exercises are being held under the command of the Army’s Zolfaqar base, with observers from the Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base in attendance.
The drills cover an area of two million square kilometers in the eastern waters of the Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and North Ocean India up to 10 degrees north.
Units of the Army’s Air and Ground Forces will contribute to the maneuvers, during which tactical offensive and defensive strategies will be drilled in line with the country’s agenda to safeguard its territorial waters and maritime access routes.