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Azerbaijan Hosts Turkey For Air Force Drills

BAKU -- The air forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey have begun a two-week military exercise in Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that TurAz Qartalı-2017 (Turkish-Azerbaijani Eagle 2017) drill got under way on September 18.

It said that 30 military aircraft would be used in the exercise, which focuses on practicing joint search-and-rescue operations, the destruction of ground targets with air strikes, and other maneuvers.

According to the ministry, the exercise is part of an annual military cooperation plan between the two countries and will end on September 30.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have close relations and are foes of Armenia, which is sandwiched between the two countries.

Azerbaijan's armed forces also began their own exercise on September 18.

Some 15,000 troops, 150 armored vehicles, 120 artillery, rocket, and mortar pieces, and 20 military aircraft are involved in the September 18-22 exercise.