Iranian troops with captured drone (illustration)
Iranian troops with captured drone (illustration)Reuters

The Iranian military, as part of its massive ongoing six-day military drill that began last Thursday, held tests on Saturday unveiling a new weapon in their arsenal: "suicide" drones.

During the drill Iran's air force demonstrated the domestically produced exploding drone, meant to strike targets on land, air and sea.

Commander of Iran's land forces Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan explained that the drone was constructed to carry explosives, fly towards targets and crash on them while exploding to cause maximal damage, while not endangering the lives of Iranian troops.

The massive drill being conducted by the Iranians has been termed "Mohammed the delegate of G-d," and includes ground forces, as well as air and naval forces. It also includes tests of Iranian ballistic missiles.

A full 13,000 Iranian soldiers are taking part in the six-day drill, and it reportedly marks the first time the Iranian navy is conducting a drill so far offshore.

Iran has shown a major push in recent years to develop its military capabilities, and in particular its navy, missile systems, drones and cyber warfare abilities. It has likewise threatened Israel with annihilation, while developing a nuclear program capable of producing nuclear weapons.

The current drill is thought to be a message to Iran's Shi'ite allies in Yemen, the Houthis, who have succeeded in making serious gains in Yemen after capturing the capital of Sana'a in addition to other cities, most notably the port city of Al-Hudaydah.

The Iranian naval maneuver on the other side of the Persian Gulf from Yemen apparently is meant as an expression of commitment by Iran to aid the Houthis, and demarcate its strategic aspirations in the region.

Iranian control in Yemen, facilitated by Houthi control over port cities, would directly threaten the southern naval exit from Israel from the port of Eilat.