US bows out of next month's Turkish Anatolian Eagle exercises
The US will not be participating in next month's Anatolian Eagle exercise hosted by the Turkish Air Forces because the drills will be conducted at the national level, a US Embassy spokesperson said yesterday. "We were part of the planning conferences for Anatolian Eagle 10/3," said the spokesperson. "However, there were no other international participants and because our aircraft were assigned for other missions, we will not be able to participate in the exercise." Some Turkish media reports claimed that the US told Turkey it wouldn't take part in the exercise if Israel were not invited, citing Turkish military officials who expressed concerns that other international participants would hesitate to take part if Washington withdrew. The Foreign Ministry, however, denied these claims. "We weren't informed by the US of anything like this," said one senior diplomat.