IRGC commander: If Israel starts a war, it will end with its destruction

The commander of the IRGC's Air Force stated that Iranian drones have become a "thorn in the side" of Iran's enemies.

 A drone is seen during an Iranian Army exercise dubbed 'Zulfiqar 1400', in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, Iran, November, 2021 (photo credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)
A drone is seen during an Iranian Army exercise dubbed 'Zulfiqar 1400', in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, Iran, November, 2021
(photo credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Aerospace Force, warned on Thursday that if Israel starts a conflict, Iran will “destroy” it, according to Iranian media.

“The Zionist regime officials know that they can be the initiators, but the end is with us,” said the commander. “The end of this work is the destruction of the Zionist regime, and if they give us an excuse... their destruction will certainly be advanced historically.”

Hajizadeh said that Israel is the only country in the world that talks about its own survival and continued existence.

“A regime that speaks about its existence is doomed to destruction, and such a regime cannot talk about the destruction of other countries, and the threats it issues are mostly for domestic consumption,” he said.

The IRGC Aerospace Force commander called Iran’s security “exemplary,” saying he did not need to talk about the country’s capabilities “because the enemy is talking enough about Iran’s missile and defense capabilities.”

 A drone is seen during an Iranian Army exercise dubbed 'Zulfiqar 1400', in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, Iran, in this picture obtained on November 7, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS) A drone is seen during an Iranian Army exercise dubbed 'Zulfiqar 1400', in the coastal area of the Gulf of Oman, Iran, in this picture obtained on November 7, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS)

Hajizadeh pointed to efforts by world powers to add negotiations concerning Iran’s missile program to the talks on returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, saying Iran’s drones have become “a thorn in their side,” and that this shows the country’s strength.

On Wednesday, IDF OC Artillery Corps Brig.-Gen. Neri Horowitz said that future conflicts with Hamas in the Gaza Strip or Hezbollah in Lebanon could involve clashes between drones.

“The enemy is evolving in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon,” Horowitz said at the UVID 2021 conference. “We must know how to distinguish between a friend and an enemy and deal with enemy capabilities.”

The chief artillery officer added that unmanned vehicles will join combat alongside manned forces in a variety of operations, including attacks, evacuations, security patrols, maneuvering in enemy territory and helping expose the enemy and allowing soldiers to see and hear in all environments.

Horowitz added that he sees unmanned aircraft as “an element in the security and strategy of the State of Israel,” and that in addition to the two UAV units already operational in the Artillery Corps, a third unit will be established in the near future.

On Monday, an Iron Dome battery fired a missile at a Hamas drone crossing into the sea from the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Israeli media reports indicated that the small drone was unarmed and was being used for surveillance. The drone did not enter Israeli territory.