October 4, 2021
Turkey will hold joint military drills with Azerbaijan this week in a region bordering Iran after Baku’s government criticized Tehran for staging army exercises near its border.
“The Steadfast Brotherhood-2021 drill will take place with the participation of Turkey and Azerbaijan in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan between 5-8 October,” a spokeswoman for Turkey’s Ministry of Defense said on Sunday.
Iran’s army began on Friday military exercises near its border with Azerbaijan amid Tehran’s skepticism of Baku’s ties with the West in general and Israel specifically. Artillery, drones and helicopters participated in Iran’s drills.
“We do not tolerate the presence and activity against our national security of… Israel, next to our borders. And we will carry out any necessary action in this regard.” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.
Azerbaijan and Israel have strengthened their military alliance in recent months, with Israeli-supplied high-tech drones helping Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.
Iran alleged that during the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict last year, ISIS militants were brought into the region.
“The overt and covert 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,” Iranian Army’s Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heydari said.