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Iranian military conducts 'routine' aerial exercises

  • Story Highlights
  • U.S. military sources say Iran is conducting aerial exercises in the Persian Gulf
  • Sources described the movements as "routine"
  • Iranian military spokesman says goal is to try out new tactics
From Barbara Starr
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iran's military is conducting aerial exercises in the Persian Gulf, U.S. military sources said Tuesday.

The exercises are expected to last a "few days." Sources described the movements, which have been observed by the U.S. military, as "routine."

"A sovereign nation has the right to exercise their forces," a U.S. military source said. "We do not view this as a threat or provocation."

The three days of maneuvers are over the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

They include the use of different types of military airplanes with bombs "destroying the pre-determined targets," the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting quoted an Iranian military spokesman as saying.

Tuesday's exercises are the second phase of war games that began Monday, the media outlet reported.

The exercises include low-flying flights of 700 kilometers (435 miles) and longer-range flights of more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) with aerial refueling, the outlet reported.

The purpose of the war games was to perform new tactics, including "evaluating the points of power and weakness of the enemy and own forces," a military spokesman told Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

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