A handful of the United States’ greatest adversaries are expected to stage sweeping joint military exercises sometime in the coming weeks, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, citing Russian and Iranian-state media sources.
China, Russia, and Iran will hold joint “war game” naval drills sometime before the end of March, according to the Post. The drills coincide with broader conflicts in the Middle East, where Iran and its proxies have been clashing with the West and as Russia continues its war against Ukraine.
Iranian navy commander Shahram Irani said the drills aim to secure “regional security,” as quoted by Russian and Iranian news sources, according to the Post. Other countries have also been invited to observe the exercises, including Pakistan, Oman, India, Brazil, and South Africa.
It isn’t clear where the drills will be held, but last year a similar exercise between the three nations was held in the Gulf of Oman, according to the Post. The Gulf of Oman neighbors the Red Sea, the maritime stage where conflicts have erupted between the Iranian-backed Houthis and Western forces.
China has not condemned the Houthis’ actions and has taken steps to increase its military presence in the Middle East, including through a planned new base in Oman and an existing logistics hub in Djibouti.
The Middle East has been thrown into conflict in the wake of the Hamas attacks against Israel on Oct. 7 that left 1,200 civilians dead. Israel has launched a sweeping counteroffensive against Hamas in response, prompting other Iranian-backed terrorist groups to launch attacks against the U.S. and other Western allies in the region.
Last year’s “Security Bond-2023” trilateral naval drills took place in the Gulf of Oman over a five-day period, according to the Post. China’s South Sea Fleet warship, a Russian frigate, and an Iranian light frigate were involved in live fire and training operations during the drills.
“The exercise deepened the practical cooperation between the navies… and further showed the willingness and ability to jointly maintain maritime security,” Qiu Maoxuan, the Chinese warship’s captain, said in an interview with Chinese-state media, according to the Post.
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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation