US must responsibly beware lives of its troops, IRGC warns

Press TV – The United States must act responsibly to protect the lives of its soldiers in the region, says a top IRGC commander, warning that Iran is ready to respond to any threat by using defensive and offensive measures.

“Washington has to act responsibly in protecting and not endangering the lives of American soldiers by avoiding any mistakes in the region, specifically in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz,” Major General Gholam Ali Rashid said on Friday.

Rashid, commander of the IRGC’s Khatam al-Anbiya Headquarters, added that Tehran did not seek war, but that branches across Iran’s Army and IRGC forces were always prepared to defend Iran’s interests.

He added that Iran’s ability to repel any “provocative action” is increasing in a “coordinated manner.”

The senior IRGC commander made the comments on the sidelines of a joint military drill, code-named Guardians of Velayat Sky-98, being held over an area of 416,000 square kilometers in the central province of Semnan.

The military exercise seeks to simulate combat in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz area.

Various types of state-of-the-art missile and radar systems — designed and built at home — will counter different aerial threats during the exercise.

The military drill comes after Washington’s USS Abraham Lincoln sailed through the Strait of Hormuz and entered the Persian Gulf on Tuesday.

On the same day, US President Donald Trump announced the deployment of the first batch of previously promised troops in Saudi Arabia. There will be a total of 3,000 troops in the “coming weeks.”

The troops are being deployed to “assure” Washington’s regional partners and “deter further Iranian provocative behavior,” Trump said.

Washington, along with its regional allies such as Riyadh, has sought to couple economic sanctions with the prospect of military action as part of a campaign of “maximum pressure” against Tehran.

Speaking regarding the developments on Friday, Rashid said “sending messages and words” were not enough to deter Iran’s enemies.

“Suitable measures and actions are needed”, he added.