Turkey will hold joint military exercises with Azerbaijan this week in a region bordering Iran, after the Baku government criticized Tehran for organizing military exercises near the border.
“The Steadfast Brotherhood-2021 exercise will take place with the participation of Turkey and Azerbaijan in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan between October 5 and 8,” a spokeswoman for the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
The Iranian military began military exercises near the Azerbaijan border on Friday amid Tehran’s skepticism about Baku’s ties to the West in general and Israel in particular. Artillery, drones and helicopters participated in Iran’s exercises.
“We will not tolerate the presence and activity against our national security of… Israel, next to our borders. And we will take the necessary action in this regard.” That said Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
Azerbaijan and Israel have strengthened their military alliance in recent months, with Israeli-provided high-tech drones helping Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.
Iran claimed that ISIS militants were brought into the region during the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia last year.
“The overt and secret presence of [Israel’s] proxies and the possibility of a significant number of ISIS terrorists in regional countries add to the importance of this exercise,” said Brigadier General Kiomars Heydari, Iran’s Army Ground Forces.
With The Associated Press