05:48 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Nov. 20, 2015 photo released by the Fars News Agency, members of the Basij, the paramilitary unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, pose for a picture during a military exercise outside the holy city of Qom, central Iran

    Iran's Volunteer Forces Begin War Games in Mountainous Western Province - Reports

    © AP Photo / Fars News Agency, Vahid Naderi
    Middle East
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iran’s Basij Volunteer Forces have begun a large-scale two-day military war game in the Iranian province of West Azerbaijan, the Mehr News Agency reported.

    Some 15,000 volunteer auxiliary troops, mostly young people from the regional capital of Urmia and the surrounding regions, are taking part in the exercise, according to the Mehr News Agency.

    The war game, codenamed “To Beit al-Muqaddas” — which references a military action to conquer Jerusalem — is aimed at improving the readiness and agility of the volunteer forces in the region, according to the news outlet.

    It is held with the motto, "40 years of patriotism, service and security", the agency added.

    West Azerbaijan, as the name suggests, is Iran’s westernmost province and is bordered by Iraq, Turkey and Azerbaijan. It is predominantly inhabited by Azeris and Kurds, with Persians in the minority.

    war games, volunteer forces, Iraqi Volunteer Forces, Iran
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