Iran's Basij forces to hold massive 10-step military drills
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 30 / Trend, S. Isayev, T. Jafarov
Iran's Basij forces will tomorrow begin massive "Beytul Mugeddes" military drills in the country, deputy Basij commander, Colonel Nosratollah Saif said, IRNA news agency reported.
He said the exercises will be held in 10 steps, with 2-3 specific exercises executed each day, adding that the drills will be held in 5 provinces of Iran.
Saif added that "Asura", "Kovser", "Al-Zahra" and "Beytul Mugeddes" battalions will be participating in the drills.
Previously, Iran held the "Beytul Mugeddes" exercises in January 2013.
The Basij is a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Islamic Revolution's leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The original organization comprised the civilian volunteers whom the Ayatollah Khomeini urged to fight in the Iran-Iraq war.
The force consists of 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 and the suppression of dissident gatherings.
The Basij are set up as subordinate to, receiving their orders from, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.