JERUSALEM, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Military cooperation among Turkey, China and Iran is of concern to Israel and the United States, a report said.
Last week Turkey completed a joint covert air force exercise with China, the daily Haaretz said Thursday.
Until 2008, Israel and Turkey conducted joint aerial maneuvers in the Anatolian Eagle annual exercise.
Since Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last year, ties between Jerusalem and Ankara have deteriorated, and Turkey barred Israel from participating in the exercises, the newspaper said. Because of the Turkish government decision, the United States also refused to participate in this year's exercise, and a number of NATO members followed suit, the paper said.
Instead, Turkey turned to China's Air Force, and Beijing sent pilots and fighter jets to train with Turkey's F-16 fighter planes, the paper said. Last week the two countries conducted a cover exercise that was briefly reported in the Turkish media after it was completed.
"The West has been watching the changes in the Chinese army's structure, and especially the long-range naval and aerial exercises that indicate Beijing's intention to acquire the ability to conduct warfare far from China's borders," the report said.
The paper said the Chinese are "aggressively pursuing cyber warfare capabilities, employing some 60,000 hackers at it, according to foreign intelligence reports."
The report said U.S. President Barack Obama's administration protested Turkey's military cooperation with Iran after Chinese fighter planes were reportedly sent to Turkey via Pakistan and Iran.
Turkey and China are also involved in projects to build oil pipelines from Iran, the report said.