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Iran Guards launch underground ballistic missiles during military drills

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched underground ballistic missiles as part of an exercise involving a mock-up aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, state television reports.

It is the latest barrage in a drill that yesterday saw two American bases temporarily go on alert over the launches.

Drone footage captured by the Guard show two missiles blasting out from covered positions in what appeared to be a desert plateau in central Iran, with debris flying up in the air in their wake.

The launches took place today, says Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard’s aerospace division. He tells state television it was first time the Guard had done this, though the paramilitary force is known to have vast underground bases hiding its ballistic missile arsenal.

Separately, drones targeted the bridge of the fake aircraft carrier, according to the state TV report. The broadcaster doesn’t immediately air footage of the launches or the drone attack, nor does it identify the missiles used in the drill.

However, the drill clearly meant to send a message to the United States.

A semiofficial news agency close to the Guard published a graphic overnight that photoshopped the image of an American carrier into the shape of a casket with a set of crosshairs on it, with a caption quoting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledging to seek revenge for the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in January.

— AP

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