LONDON (Dispatches) -- Iranian armed forces launched missiles "buried underground” during military drills intended to send a deadly warning to the U.S., a British newspaper wrote on Saturday.
The Islamic Republic conducted a range of military drills across two days amid heightened tensions with Washington. Earlier this week, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launched missiles blowing up a mock U.S. aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Following the underground missile exercise, the IRGC proclaimed it as "the first time in the world” that such an exercise had been carried out.
The IRGC hailed "the successful launch of ballistic missiles from the depths of the Earth in a completely camouflaged way” as an "important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence organizations”.
During another drill, so many missiles were fired that the U.S. military temporarily put two regional bases in the Middle East on alert, Britain’s Daily Express said.
The U.S. military confirmed that ballistic missile fire detected resulted in American troops being put on alert at Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Al-Udeid Air Base, the forward headquarters of the U.S. military’s Central Command in Qatar, the paper added.
U.S. Army Major Beth Riordan, a Central Command spokeswoman, confirmed that American troops sought cover during that time.
She said: "The incident lasted for a matter of minutes and an all clear was declared after the threat had passed.”
The launches came a day after the IRGC struck a mock-up of a U.S. aircraft carrier with volleys of missiles along the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane responsible for moving one-fifth of global oil output.
Later satellite photos showed the giant mock-up of a U.S. Navy Nimitz-class aircraft carrier capsized just outside the port of Bandar Abbas after being used for target practice, Express said.
The IRGC also shared images of the Al-Udeid Base in Qatar, which hosts thousands of U.S. troops, taken by Iran’s newly-launched satellite, Nour-1, the paper said.
During the exercises, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khameini said the U.S. presence in the Middle East is a "detriment”, the British paper further said.
He told Iranian troops that the U.S. presence was "a cause for insecurity, destruction and backwardness of the countries”.
Last week, Iran hits out at the United States after two U.S. fighter jets harassed an Iranian Beirut-bound passenger plane over Syria.