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Politics

American, Greek Forces Train in Northern Greece, Near Turkey

November 14, 2021

ΑΤΗΕΝS – After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced a closer military alliance between the United States and Greece, American and Greek troops held a joint military exercise near the Turkish border.

The US and Greek forces conducted wet-gap crossing operations in northern Greece, said Kathimerini, a video on social media by the US Army Europe and Africa account showing troops from the 1-16th infantry regiment practicing river crossings with Greek soldiers by the Nestos river, near the city of Xanthi.

The exercises were held as part of the wider Olympic Cooperation 2021 initiative, a maneuver and live-fire exercise between Greece and the United States to enhance tactical and operational cohesion among both militaries, the paper said.

It came a few weeks after the US and Greece renewed a military cooperation agreement designed to allow for a greater American military presence and more bases in Greece.

Turkey has been provoking Greece with repeated violations of air space and waters with fighter jets and warships and plans to go ahead with looking for energy off Greek islands, bringing renewed fears of a confrontation.

The US, however, has a military presence as well at a Turkish base there and tries to walk the line between supporting both countries but has barred Turkey from buying F-35 fighter jets after Erdogan went ahead and bought a Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

That could be used against Greece in a conflict and undermines NATO, to which all three countries belong, but which has refused to intervene over constant Turkish provocations, unwilling to take on the volatile Erdogan.

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