The US Navy mocked Iran for being ‘experts’ at building a target ship in an Instagram post that showed a bogus American aircraft carrier with a bullseye on it.
The Navy proclaimed in a meme, ‘IRAN BUILDS TARGET SHIP’, revealing an overhead view of the fake vessel sitting at a port, unprotected and vulnerable with a bullseye, and adds across the bottom of the image, ‘THEY’RE EXPERTS AT THAT’.
The post comes after Iran built the replica of a Nimitz-class carrier and had its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard fire a missile at it in the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday amid tensions between Iran and Washington.
The exercise was televised on state run television and condemned by the Navy as ‘irresponsible and reckless’. The show of force, meanwhile, paled in comparison to the US Navy’s unmatched prowess, which includes 11 aircraft carriers.
Iran has none of the mammoth vessels, except for the replica, Yahoo News reported.
The fake carrier was towed by a tugboat to the strait from the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas for target practice on Tuesday.
Footage of the war games that followed was broadcast on state television showing the Guards’ air and naval forces readying for an attack off the country’s southwest coast.
Speedboats skimmed across the water in formation before ground forces fired cannons and a missile was launched from a helicopter.
The replica carrier came into view with rows of dummy fighter jets on either side of its landing strip.
The television then cut to rockets being fired out to sea from the backs of trucks, before showing damage to the hull of the mock-up aircraft carrier.
Another missile fired from a helicopter left a trail of smoke before appearing to smash into the side of the fake warship.
Armed forces were then seen rappelling onto the deck of the vessel, before around a dozen speedboats circle around it.
‘What was shown today in these exercises, at the level of aerospace and naval forces, was all offensive,’ Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami told state television.
The war games were staged after Tehran accused US fighter jets of harassing an Iranian commercial airliner in the skies over Syria the week before.
At least four passengers on board the Mahan Air plane were injured in the July 23 incident, after the pilot took emergency action to avoid the warplanes.
The drill, in a waterway through which 20 per cent of all traded oil passes, underlines the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S. after last summer saw a series of incidents targeting oil tankers in the region.