ANKARA- The US government has reportedly turned down a proposal put forth by Turkey to use Pakistani pilots for F-16 training, hinting at the fraught relations between Washington and Islamabad.
The refusal was quoted by a pro-government columnist Mehmet Acet, who in Yeni Safak daily claimed that Turkish Air Forces asked Pakistan to send three F-16 pilots to train their pilots.
Pakistan, being a very close friend welcomed the Turkish request, however, US refused to allow Ankara to go with Pakistani trainers, wrote Acet while quoting a senior general as a source.
According to an F16 purchase agreement between Turkey and the United States, the US must green light any third party involvement in the use of the aircraft.
According to Acet, the general used a Turkish idiom in response to Washington’s refusal, saying, ‘This means you fall down where you are.’
Although the Turkish air force is having a sizeable majority and generally there’s no need for pilots by any third country but as a result of the botched coup in 2016, Turkey purged 680 of 1,350 pilots in the Turkish Air Forces.
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