April 27, 2009 / 8:48 AM / 11 years ago

Israel "troubled" by Turkish-Syrian military drill

JERUSALEM, April 27 (Reuters) - Israel is troubled by an unprecedented military exercise between its ally, Turkey, and its arch-foe Syria, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday.

Ankara announced on Sunday it would hold its first drill with Syria this week, using ground forces in a border area that has been the focus of a 25-year conflict between Turkey and separatist Kurdish rebels.

Israel has extensive defence ties to Turkey, a NATO member and among the few Muslim nations to have built an alliance with the Jewish state. The Israeli and Turkish air forces and navies have held joint exercises.

"Today we see a Syrian-Turkish drill, which is certainly a troubling development," Barak told reporters. "But I believe that the strategic ties between Israel and Turkey will overcome even Turkey’s need to take part in this drill." (Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Charles Dick)

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