Iran staging war games near Iraq

Iran is staging military maneuvers that are expected to last three days in a northwestern province bordering Iraq’s Kurdish-controlled territory, according to media reports on Monday.

The war games come amid protests throughout Iran sparked by the mid-September death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22. She had been arrested on charges of violating the country’s strict dress codes, with witnesses saying authorities had beaten her.

Units with the Iranian army’s 164th Mobile Assault Battalion will take part in the maneuvers, according to the U.K.-based Iran International news agency.

“The forces partaking in the exercise use organizational, light, semi-heavy, and heavy weapons,” said Col. Hamid Firouzjai, the unit’s commander.

Among other drills, the Iranian troops will carry out parachute operations, overnight raids and urban warfare training over three days.

The war games are taking place soon after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) conducted maneuvers along the borders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have been involved in clashes over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus, Iran International said.

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