Iran reinforces air defense in western borders after Iraqi Kurdish referendum

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-27 05:13:49|Editor: yan
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TEHRAN, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Iran's army has dispatched more air defense missile systems to its western borders to counter any threats, the army's air defense headquarters announced on Tuesday.

The army's air defense has increased preparedness for "decisive response" to any act of aggression in western areas, said Alireza Elhami, lieutenant commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base.

The move by the Iranian army came after the Iraqi Kurdistan region held the independence referendum on Monday.

Iran has announced its discontent with the independence vote, while voicing its support for the territorial integrity of Iraq.

On Sunday, the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) kicked off military drills along the country's western border areas ahead of the Kurdish referendum.

The army's Heidar-e-Karrar war game involved the armoured units, airborne division, drone squad, and the Ground Force's rapid reaction forces, Tasnim news agency reported.

On Sunday evening, the army's fighter jets flew across the country's western airspace as part of the military drills to show their strong presence. The jets provided logistic support for the army's rapid reaction units.

Iranian military officials also carried out an evaluation of the air force's offensive capability and the coordination among the ground force's airborne division and the air force in an operational zone near the city of Qasr-e Shirin in the western province of Kermanshah.

Besides, the IRGC started the Muharram drills in the western provinces on Sunday.

The Muharram war game sent out a message of peace and security to the friends, and reminded the enemies that the country's borders will be powerfully protected against hostile moves, the IRGC said.

The voters in the Kurdish region and disputed areas cast ballots in the referendum on Monday on seeking independence of the region from Iraq.

Initial poll results showed at least 93 percent of Kurds approved independence from Iraq.

The referendum was held despite intense international pressure to suspend the vote, raising fears that it would spark a new conflict with Baghdad and powerful neighboring countries such as Iran and Turkey.