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Iran, China & Russia holding terrifying ‘Cerberus’ drills in WEEKS in response to Nato wargames as WW3 tensions soar

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IRAN has said it will conduct terrifying military drills with China and Russia in just a few weeks in response to Nato war games.

Rear Admiral Shahram Irani, commander of Iran’s navy, said the joint naval exercise will be held before the end of March – and will be aimed towards “regional security”.

Iran's naval destroyer Alborz that could take part in the joint military drill

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Iran’s naval destroyer Alborz that could take part in the joint military drillCredit: AP
Russian warships, including warship Alexander Obukhov during a navy drill

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Russian warships, including warship Alexander Obukhov during a navy drillCredit: Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with China's Xi Jinping at Kremlin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin shaking hands with China’s Xi Jinping at KremlinCredit: Reuters

The locations of these drills have not been confirmed yet, but could likely take place in the Gulf of Oman where the naval fleet of the three countries conducted in March last year.

According to Iran’s Tasnim news agency, other countries have been invited to take part in the “war game” exercise as observers.

Commander Irani said: “We also invite other countries to take part in the naval drills of Iran, China and Russia that will take place before the end of March.”

The drills will form a three-headed guard dog aimed squarely at the West – much like Cerberus, the beast who guards the gates of hell in Greek mythology.

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, China’s leader Xi Jinping, and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin also share a deep hatred of the West – and have been compared to the “Axis of Evil” from World War 2.

It comes as Nato kicked off its largest military drill since the Cold War amid soaring World War Three tensions.

Steadfast Defender 2024 is now underway across thousands of miles of Europe as armadas, fighter jet fleets and 90,000 troops conduct land, sea, air, cyber and space operations.

It will see 32 countries prepare for a potential Russian attack on Europe as Putin plans to wage war against the West.

In a sobering Nato briefing yesterday, Assistant Chief of Staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), Brigadier General Gunnar Bruegner said the “clock is ticking”.

The Sun’s Defence Editor Jerome Starkey joins Royal Marines in Norway as they train to defend NATOs northern flank

Without mentioning Russia by name, he said Nato must prove it is “ready” for any threats to its security.

“Every exercise matters….the biggest picture is deterrence,” the military chief added.

The plan behind Steadfast Defender 2024 (STDE24) is to “promote readiness across the strategic, operational and tactical level,” Brig Gen Bruegner said.

He added: “The sheer size and ambition of this exercise will show us where we are and how we need to adapt.”

One that will send a “clear message inside and outside the military [alliance] that we are ready!”

It’s an opportunity to carry out “stress-testing from the top to the bottom,” Bruegner said.

“This is how we prepare ourselves, stress this with troops on ground and build capacity towards deterrence.”

Bruegner’s statements come amid a flurry of recent warnings from top military chiefs and policymakers over the threat of full-scale war with Russia in the coming years. 

The sheer size and ambition of [Steadfast Defender] exercise will show us where we are and how we need to adapt

Brigadier General Gunnar BruegnerAssistant Chief of Staff of SHAPE

The joint military drill will see alliance members rehearsing how US troops could reinforce European allies on the alliance’s eastern flank if a conflict were to flare up with a “near-peer” adversary.

Some 20,000 British troops will join its key allies in the war drills which will continue through to May and include 31 alliance members and Nato candidate Sweden.

More than 50 ships from aircraft carriers to destroyers will take part, as well as more than 80 fighter jets, helicopters, and drones and at least 1,100 combat vehicles including 133 tanks and 533 infantry fighting vehicles.

The Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers and eight warships will also be sent out to stage and test conflict scenarios in naval drills named “Joint Warrior”.

Only last week, The Sun joined crack Royal Marines training for war with Russia at their new arctic base Camp Viking in Norway.

We swooped into the frozen outpost on board a Commando Force Merlin helicopter before roaring over icy waste on camouflaged snowmobiles.

The elite commando force will be helping to spearhead Britain’s ground operations during Steadfast Defender.

Speaking to The Sun at the Arctic base, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey explained that if Nato went to war with Russia, Britain’s main role would be fighting in Arctic conditions, which are the toughest in the world.

The planned war games will be performed close to Russia’s borders in key areas including the Baltics and close to the new WW3 flashpoint, the Suwalki Gap.

It comes as the chances of World War Three continue to rise after the growing concerns about the escalations of regional wars.

It is feared that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could see Russian troops going beyond Ukrainian borders to launch attacks on Europe, forcing NATO to join the war.

Putin has made dozens of threats to the West since his invasion of Ukraine nearly two years ago.

And recently, a leaked military report revealed what could be the Kremlin top’s step-by-step plan to bring the West to the brink of World War 3 – and it starts in weeks.

The secret docs detail the despot’s possible “path to conflict” which reaches its climax in the summer of 2025 on “Day X” when half a million Nato and Russian soldiers will face each other.

To counter the potential threat from Moscow, the Baltic states have agreed to build a series of bunkers on their borders with Russia and Belarus to protect their forces in the event of an attack.

Estonia is planning to build 600 concrete bunkers with distribution lines – costing more than £55million – on its side of the border with Russia.

Each bunker will be designed to accommodate 10 military troops for extended periods – and will also have life-support equipment.

According to the sketches provided by the Estonian ministry, the wide range of bunkers will consist of T-shaped trenches, camouflaged by foliage.

These trenches are designed to withstand 152mm projectiles as well as direct enemy fire.

In addition to the labyrinth of bunkers, “dragon’s teeth” tank barriers, barriers, minefields and barbed wire would also be stockpiled for installation if need be.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron meeting British troops during a Nato-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo

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Foreign Secretary David Cameron meeting British troops during a Nato-led peacekeeping mission in KosovoCredit: PA
Some 20,000 Brit troops will take part in the huge war drill across Europe

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Some 20,000 Brit troops will take part in the huge war drill across Europe

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