The IRGC Aerospace Commander says the US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE, and Qatar as well as the US aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf are all within reach of Iranian missiles.
“The US bases around us are within our reach and are easy meat for us,” Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said in a televised interview on Wednesday night.
He pointed to the US’ Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, and Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan, saying the bases used to be threats to Iran but are now “opportunities.”
The US aircraft carriers in the Sea of Oman, with 40 to 50 fighter jets and 6,000 military personnel, are now within the reach of Iran’s ballistic missiles, which have pinpoint accuracy and a range of 700 km, he added.
General Hajizadeh also referred to the Islamic Republic’s drone intelligence, saying Iran now knows in which hangar of the Kandahar Airfield the RQ-170 Sentinel — a US unmanned aerial vehicle Iran took control of about seven years ago — had been deployed.
Iran grounded the drone in December 2011 using electronic warfare techniques, as the stealth aircraft was flying over the Iranian city of Kashmar near the Afghan border.
According to the IRGC Aerospace commander, Iran used the reverse-engineered version of the RQ-170 drone to target Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq.
Iran currently possesses the biggest collection of captured or downed American and Israeli drones, including the US’ MQ1, MQ9, Shadow, ScanEagle, and RQ-170 as well as the Israeli regime’s Hermes, Hajizadeh added.
The Israeli drone was intercepted and shot down in October 2014 by the IRGC forces on its way to the Natanz nuclear facility in the central Isfahan province.
In the field of unmanned aerial vehicles, Iran is now one of the world’s top four or five countries, and the top drone power in the region, General Hajizadeh said.
“The Iranian-made Shahed-129 drone, for example, had round-the-clock flights over terrorists’ positions in Syria and Iraq, and its services were also used by the Syrian army, the Russians, the Hezbollah forces, and others,” he added.
Iran’s UAV program has expanded in recent years with more than a dozen models operating for a variety of functions ranging from surveillance to intelligence gathering, carrying bombs and Kamikaze operations.
They have been playing a significant role in the fight against Takfiri terrorists as well as monitoring US warships in the Persian Gulf.