Basij forces launch large-scale drills in Iran

Tasnim – Hundreds of thousands of forces serving in the Iranian Basij (voluntary forces) attended a country-wide drills that include massive military exercises and social service programs, particularly in underprivileged areas.

Codenamed “Warriors of Mohammad Rasulullah-2”, the large-scale exercises kicked off on Friday and its first stage will run until September 20, Commander of Iran’s Basij Force Brigadier General Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar announced Saturday.

The second phase of the exercises will be held during the Sacred Defense Week in late September, the commander noted, adding that 150,000 forces in 7,104 units have attended the drills.

General Gheibparvar said a large number of physicians and social workers have been providing free service for local residents in various parts of the country, such as in the coastal province of Hormozgan and the border province of North Khorasan, since yesterday.

The first stage of the drills also includes tactics to ensure security, according to the commander, who said 1,000 battalions have launched exercises in the provinces of Qom, Kohgiluye and Boyer-Ahmad, and Ardebil.

He said the second stage of the war game will be launched during the Sacred Defense Week, with around 700,000 Basij forces scheduled to gather in provincial capitals.

The event will culminate with a gathering of 100,000 Basij forces in Tehran, Gheibparvar went on to say.

The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer force established in 1979 on the Late Founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini’s order.

The force consists of often young Iranians, who have volunteered, with a strong sense of fidelity to both the Islamic system and the religious beliefs.