Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) reportedly launched a massive military drone exercise codenamed "Towards Jerusalem 1."
Iran's Sepahnews reported Thursday that the military flew about 50 "offensive and combat" drones on Bani Farur Island in the Persian Gulf. The drones were modeled after a US-made RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone Iran captured in 2011.
The drones allegedly took off from bases as far as 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) away and successfully bombed a single target at the same time. The drill was the first time Iran's military operated that number of drones simultaneously.
#IRGC started massive drone drill called "Towards Jerusalem 1" over southern territorial waters of Persian Gulf.
50 reverse-engineered #RQ170 drones and a number of combat UAVs participated in it. pic.twitter.com/8u8GJnseSK
— hadi✡️ (@Zolfegar12) March 14, 2019
Press TV reports that Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami said the United States' sanctions against Iran "bore fruit."
"Despite the empty and satanic dreams of the US and other ill-wishers of the Iranian nation, we witnessed tens of modern and advanced domestic RQ-170s and other types of combat drones in flight during a major drill and unique offensive operation," he said.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who commands the IRGC's Aerospace Division, said the army had reached self-sufficiency in engineering, producing and operating its own drones.
Last November, Hajizadeh said Iran has the biggest collection of captured or downed American and Israeli drones. Iranian engineers reportedly used these drones to reverse engineer their own versions.
In February 2018, Israel intercepted an Iranian drone it launched from a base in Syria. Israel retaliated by bombing a number of Iranian targets in Syria, including the T-4 base where the Iranian drone operator was located. According to the Times of Israel, the army later revealed the Iranian drone was carrying an explosive device but the intended target was unknown.