United States placed its two bases in the UAE on alert after Iran launched missiles during a mock attack on a fake aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. The replica used in the drill resembled the Nimitz-class carriers that the US Navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf.
The mock drill, called Great Prophet 14 exercise, was carried out by Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The threat level was lowered by the US authorities after some time.
Iran's Military Plans to Fire Long-Range Ballistic Missiles
In the footage released by the Iranian state television, a number of missiles were seen being fired by fast boats, mobile launchers and a helicopter, targeting the fake carrier.
Members of the Revolutionary Guard were also seen slithering down from a helicopter and anti-craft guns and firing on a target drone near the port city of Bandar Abbas. A commander said the Revolutionary Guard also planned to fire "long-range ballistic missiles" during the drill, which will continue throughout Wednesday.
ABC News reported that following the missile fire, the American troops stationed at Al-Dhafra Air Base in Abu Dhabi and Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the forward headquarters of the US military's Central Command, were placed on alert. The troops at the bases took cover. "The incident lasted for a matter of minutes and an all clear was declared after the threat had passed," said US Army Major Beth Riordan told the outlet.
India's Rafale Fighters Were Stationed at Al-Dhafra
The Al-Dhafra base also housed five French-built Rafale fighter jets, which were stationed overnight on their way to India. The first batch of five Rafale jets had taken off from Merignac airbase in southern France's Bordeaux on July 27 and are expected to reach India on July 29.
In a tweet, CNN's Barbara Starr wrote: "CNN has learned US bases at Al Udeid and Al Dhafra went on alert this am when intel indicators showed an Iranian missile possibly headed that way. Personnel told to take cover for several minutes. No missile struck, US officials say they took prudent precautionary measures."
Speaking about the armory used in the exercise, IRGC Brigadier General Abbas Nilforoushan, the official spokesperson for the exercise, told Press TV: "Surprising weapons and hardware – including long-range ballistic missiles capable of striking intruding vessels floating at a distance – are being used."
Video from the drills did show multiple launches of what appeared to be members of the Fateh 110 short-range ballistic missile family, which have ranges between 124 and 186 miles, depending on the exact version.