Turkey, Greek jets engage in mock dogfights over Aegean
Fourteen Turkish aircraft violated Greek airspace six times on Monday during flights over the north eastern and central Aegean, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported, citing the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA).
The six F-16 fighter jets, two CN-235 transport planes and six helicopters also violated air traffic rules eleven times, the newspaper said.
GEETHA said the flyovers obliged Greek fighter jets to engage in mock dogfights on four occasions.
Turkish and Greek jets regularly get embroiled in such tussles due to disputes over airspace, but the number of incidents have ratcheted up due to an intensifying row over territory in the Aegean and Mediterranean this year. The tensions have raised concerns among other NATO allies for a direct military engagement by the two countries’ air forces and navies.
Political and military tensions between Turkey and Greece have increased after Turkey sought to explore for natural gas and oil off the coast of Cyprus and Greek islands, using a maritime agreement with Libya as the foundation.
The United States and European Union are calling on Greece and Turkey to stand down their militaries and for direct talks to resolve the impasse.