- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 16, 2021

Iran said its military fired long-range ballistic missiles into the Indian Ocean on Saturday that reportedly came relatively close to a commercial ship and U.S. Navy forces.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian Armed Forces, launched the missiles during a military drill from up to more than 1,100 miles away, state-owned media reported.

Citing unnamed U.S. military officials speaking on condition of anonymity, Fox News reported that at least one of those missiles landed 20 miles from a commercial vessel in the Indian Ocean.

At least one missile also splashed down 100 miles from the strike force led by the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, Fox News reported.

Iranian media said the military drill was codenamed “Great Prophet 15” and involved launching “mock attacks” on targets resembling fake enemy warships.

“One of our main purposes in defense policies and strategies is to be able to hit the enemy’s warships, including aircraft carriers and battle cruisers, with long-range ballistic missiles,” said IRGC Chief-Commander Major General Hossein Salami, according to the state-owned Press TV outlet.

“The message of these drills is our power and strong determination to defend the Establishment and our values against the enemies of Islam and Iran,” he added.

Americans were expecting the missile launch, Fox News reported, citing a source who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified intelligence.

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