IAF withdraws from air exercise in UK: The Tribune India


New Delhi, February 26

The Indian Air Force (IAF) decided on Saturday to withdraw from a multilateral air exercise in Britain next month amid the situation arising from the crisis in Ukraine, officials said.

The decision not to take part in the Cobra Warrior exercise came just three days after the IAF announced that five Tejas light attack aircraft would be sent to Waddington, UK, for exercises from March 6-27.

The IAF tweeted on Saturday morning that it had decided not to use its aircraft for exercises in the UK “in light of recent events”. However, the tweet was later deleted. Although no reason was given as to why the tweet was deleted, officials said the decision not to attend the exercise stands.

“The IAF is not participating in exercise Cobra Warrior,” a senior official said. The pullout came amid a deepening crisis in Ukraine, as Russian troops advanced on Kiev and other key cities. The decision also came hours after India abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution on Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

Sources said that by abstaining from the resolution, India retained the opportunity to reach out to all relevant sides to find a middle ground and promote dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis. The IAF had said the Cobra Warrior 22 exercise aimed to provide operational exposure and share best practices among participating air forces. —