Greek Defense Chief Warns Conflict Over Turkish Provocations

ATHENS – Repeated Turkish violations of Greek air space, as well as incursions on the seas, are rising an accidental shoot-out that could lead to broader conflict and bring the countries to the brink of war, the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Konstantinos Floros warned.

During successive teleconferences with NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) Lieutenant General Tim Radford, he pointed to Turkish aggressions in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, said Kathmerini.

The plea could likely be in vain as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly said he wants no part of the feud between the two countries who belong to the defense alliance, with Turkey not facing any sanctions.

According to a statement issued by GEETHA, Floros referred in his talks with Radford to Turkey further provoking a migrant crisis on the land border by the Evros River as well as Turkey going ahead with drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus and planning to do the same off Crete under a maritime deal signed with Libya, unrecognized by the rest of the world.

He also cited the repeated violations by Turkish fighter jets of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) and overflights over the Evros land border and Greek islands that brings interceptions by Greek fighter jets and some mock dogfights.

Floros also mentioned the “unacceptable” harassment by Turkish fighter jets of a helicopter last week in which he and Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos were traveling, dismissed as routine by Turkey which disputes Greek air space and waters.


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