(Outlook) – Iranian state television says the Islamic Republic has launched a surprise military drill with army special operations forces near the country’s border with Turkey. The exercise comes amid Iran”s opposition to Turkey’s planned invasion of northern Syria against Syrian Kurdish fighters there.

The Syrian Kurds were US allies in the war against the Islamic State group. The sudden Iranian drill was announced on Wednesday. The TV report says it”s overseen by Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi, chief of Iran”s army.

However, the state TV didn’t mention the expected Turkish operation nor elaborate on the number of troops taking part in the drill in Qushchi in Iran”s Western Azerbaijan province. The area is about 620 kilometers, or 385 miles, northwest of Tehran. Iran and Russia are both key allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s long-embattled government. Both have troops on the ground in Syria. READ MORE

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