Iran’s Fars News said on December 23 that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is relying more on “aggressive” tactics and “suicide drones.” This has been clear in recent years as Iranian drones proliferate around the region and increasingly give the Houthis, Hamas, Hezbollah and other pro-Iran groups a more powerful offensive weapon.
The comments were made on the sidelines of the “Great Prophet 17” drill that Iran launched this week. Tehran has been using cruise missiles, helicopters, aircraft, anti-tank missiles and drones in coordination to showcase its latest abilities. IRGC head Maj.-Gen. Hussein Salami mentioned that the ground forces are a guarantor of the country’s territorial integrity and national security, saying that: “It was done through a combination of the main elements of the IRGC’s ground combat power, including strong defensive positions, the use of offensive drones, jumping mines and armored firepower.”
He also noted the development of new systems and tactics. “The new points in this exercise include the effective use of offensive suicide drones and the identification that they are new components of our ground offensive power, the effective use of offensive power by helicopters and the firing of missiles and rockets at [various] distances,” he said.
Iran’s IRGC praised the upgraded command structures of the country’s military forces. It appears this is a hint of more IRGC-led operations to come. This year the Guard Corps pioneered new attacks on commercial shipping, including using drones against a moving tanker. They also used drones to attack US forces in Iraq and Syria. Washington is drawing down what it says are its last combat troops in Iraq.
Iran wants to pressure the US to leave Syria as well. It wants to threaten shipping in the Gulf of Oman and put an option on the table to strike at Israel from Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria at the same time.
The drone will be Iran’s weapon of choice in these coming conflicts. That is clear from Iran’s own media reports as well as a recent report at Alma research center that said Hezbollah has an expanded drone arm of some 2,000 UAVs. What is clear is that this increases the range and abilities of Iran and its proxies. They can now attack Israel from Iraq, as was done in May when an Iranian drone flew from Iraq over Syria into Israeli airspace. In January, a report at Newsweek said that Iran had sent a new type of drone to Yemen with a range of some 2,000 kilometers.
Source » jpost