Turkish Fighter Jets Keep Up Violations of Greek Airspace

December 27, 2018

Acting with impunity, Turkish fighter jets violated Greek airspace over the Aegean 36 times on Dec. 26 without a word from NATO, the defense alliance to which both belong, nor from the United States which had otherwise been offering words of support to Greece.

The Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) said the incursions came over the the northeast, central and southeast parts of the Aegean Sea as Turkey has stepped up provocations after the US started siding more with Greece.

GEETHA said nine of the violations were carried out by three formations of Turkish F-16 jets, four of which were armed, and the other 27 by two CN-235 planes. In five of the cases, the Turkish jets also infringed upon the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).

One of the airspace violations developed into a mock dogfight with Greek jets with is a common occurrence, adding to tensions there could be an accidental conflict, and all the Turkish aircraft were identified and intercepted by Greek fighter planes in line with international rules of engagement, GEETHA said.


Despite being unable to prevent smugglers in Turkey from sending refugees and migrants to Greek islands and the northern land border along the Evros River, Greece has made significant progress in dealing with human trafficking, according to a report by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

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