Iran opens airspace to China warplanes
Chinese fighter jets, file photo
The Islamic Republic of Iran has reportedly opened its airspace to Chinese warplanes taking part in joint military maneuvers with Turkey.
Ankara and Beijing conducted the drills in Turkey's Central Anatolia region last month.
The war games, codenamed the Anatolian Eagle, were the first involving Turkey and China. Turkey had previously carried out Anatolian Eagle maneuvers with the US and other NATO members as well as Israel.
Turkish F-16, Chinese Su-27 and Mig-29 fighter jets took part in mock dogfights during the drills.
The maneuvers come ahead of a planned visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Turkey.
Turkey and China took their first step in military cooperation in the late 1990s with joint missile production, manufacturing weapons with a 150-kilometer range, the Hurriyet daily reported on its website.
The multinational Anatolian Eagle exercise is hosted by the Turkish Air Forces and is aimed at boosting aerial cooperation and training. The exercises have been performed since June 2001.