SHENYANG, China, July 27 (UPI) -- Almost 200 Chinese soldiers were deployed Saturday to begin three weeks of joint anti-terror drills with Russian troops, officials said.
The soldiers will be joined by others -- eventually totaling 646 -- at the operation site in Chelyabinsk in Russia's Ural Mountains by Aug. 2, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
Five military helicopters transported 72 of the soldiers first contingent of soldiers on the 3,100-mile flight from Hailar in Inner Mongolia, said Zhang Yan, deputy commander of the soldiers participating in the drill.
Another 119 soldiers and officers are being moved by train from the border city of Manchuri, Zhang said.
Five fighter bombers will join the drill July 31.
The "Peace Mission 2013" exercises are scheduled to run through Aug. 15.
The operation begins less than a month after the two countries completed their largest-ever naval drill in the Sea of Japan.