Turkey, Syria begin first joint military exercise

April 27th, 2009 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, April 27 (DPA) Turkey Monday started its first joint military training exercise with neighbouring Syria, the Turkish general staff said.
The small-scale training exercises focussed on border protection and will last until Wednesday, said a spokesman for the general staff.

Turkey almost went to war with Syria in 1998 when Damascus sheltered Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, but ties between the two countries have improved in the past few years as Turkey has embraced a greater willingness to engage with all of its neighbours.

Turkey last year played a mediating role in indirect discussions between Turkey and Syria over the issue of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights.

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