Baku, Azerbaijan, March 7
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
The main stage of Iranian Basij militia's special military exercise started in the south eastern province of Kerman, Iran's IRINN TV reported on March 7.
The purpose of this series of exercises entitled "Ila Baitulmuqaddis (to Jerusalem)", which are held each year across the country, is strengthening the Basij`s power, Commander of Kerman`s IRGC Sarallah Unit Brigadier General Rouhollah Nouri said.
The exercise is designed to develop and enhance the capabilities of the Baitulmuqaddis battalions, improve Basij military competence, and foster a "self-sacrificing spirit" among the Basij power members, he added.
Some 61 Basij battalions take part in the exercise including two battalions of women members of the militia. The exercise includes drills for the protection of cities, assistance and rescue, dealing with social unrest, the protection of sensitive and important military centers, dealing with the invasion and landing of enemy forces from helicopters, and carrying out complicated tactical maneuvers at night.
On Feb. 28 Iranian media outlets quoted Basij commander General Mohammad Reza Naqdi as saying all Basijis around the world are "waiting" for an order from Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei for the "liberation battle" for Jerusalem.
The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. The force consists of young Iranians who have volunteered, often in exchange for official benefits. Currently Basij serve as an auxiliary force engaged in activities such as internal security as well as law enforcement auxiliary, the providing of social service, organizing of public religious ceremonies and policing of morals. Basij is the name of the force; a Basiji is an individual member.
Edited by C.N.