Turkey cancels joint air force drill with Israel

Published October 11th, 2009 - 08:58 GMT

Turkey has called off an annual joint air force drill that was to have taken place this week because it opposed Israeli participation, the Israeli military said. Ties between Israel and Turkey have cooled over Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's sharp criticism of Israel's recent war in the Gaza Strip.

 

According to the AP, the Israeli army said the Oct. 12-23 drill was delayed indefinitely "because of Turkey's decision to change the list of participating countries, thus excluding Israel." The exercise was to have been the sixth annual maneuver of its kind. Israel said it was to have included U.S., Italian and NATO forces.

 

According to Israeli sources, Ankara canceled the drill after the U.S. pulled out over the Turkish decision to blackball Israel.

 

 

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