Against the backdrop of cool relations with Turkey, Israel's traditional exercise partner, military officials expressed their hope that the IDF would eventually be able to resume its joint drills with its former Muslim ally.
"Going back to training with the Turks is needed and appropriate," a senior Air Force official said.
The joint training session with Italy, which followed an aerial drill in Sardinia about a month ago, was held as part of Israel's effort to convince foreign armies to take part in an international aerial drill to be held in Israel in 2013.
One training session was attended by some 30 foreign military attachés, who observed an exercise featuring cooperation between ground forces and helicopters. This was followed by a series of meetings and lectures.
Senior Italian officials who participated in the drill downplayed questions about any possible connection between the exercise and a potential Iran strike. Air Force Brigadier General Hagai Topolonsky also dismissed a possible link, saying that "the media have a tendency to link unrelated matters and make a story out of them. Our deployment in Sardinia was part of our annual training plan."
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