US Eyes New Military Operation on Crete, Links Tighten With SYRIZA

September 18, 2018

With US relations ironically warming with Greece’s Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a former Communist youth leader, the American military presence could expand beyond a Navy base on Souda Bay on Crete.

Tsipras, who said he would not allow a US military operation in the country and would take Greece out of NATO – he’s now aiding the defense alliance – has made relations between the countries better than they have been in 50 years, a diplomat who wasn’t named told Kathimerini.

Among options being considered, the paper said, is a new base in southern Crete to host special forces following the transfer of MQ-9 drones to a US base in Larissa.

Souda Bay is a key spot for aircraft carriers and repair facilities for destroyers but was unlikely to be able to expand, sending the US looking for other spots. There has even been on-again, off-again talk of a base on an island, such as Karpathos, but nothing has come of that so far although in 2016 Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was keen on the idea.

He is the leader of the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who are junior partners in the coalition led by SYRIZA and has eagerly sought closer ties and military cooperation with the US.

Boosting Greek-American ties and supporting the cooperation between Greece, Cyprus and Israel in the region are of key strategic interest to the US, the report said, even though Tsipras, apart from courting big business, has shown little interest in the Diaspora and barred voting from those abroad.

US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, who has repeatedly stressed that defense is a key pillar of cooperation between the two countries is said to be one of the driving forces behind the cooperation that is now so vital, with US relations with Turkey deteriorating although it has a base there, that the US has made little of furloughs for a terrorist who killed five Americans attached to the US Embassy over the years.

Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell is also said to be behind making Greece a focus in the region, along with Cyprus, with Turkey increasing provocations in the Aegean and keeping warships off Cyprus in a bid to prevent foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas.

Mitchell reportedly said that Greece has the opportunity to “play ball” with the US as American relations cool with Turkey, especially after President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish steel, incensing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


SERRES - Two men were arrested in the northern Greek city of Serres on Tuesday in relation to an explosion at the city's 9th primary school that killed an 11-year-old student and injured two boys aged 6 and 10.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Warnock or Walker? Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat

ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are set to decide the final Senate contest in the country, choosing between Democratic Sen.

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s company was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney, a significant repudiation of financial practices at the former president’s business.

With Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench, the superstar striker’s replacement scored a hat trick to lead Portugal over Switzerland 6-1 and into the World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Morocco became the first Arab nation and only the fourth African nation to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals, beating Spain 3-0 in a penalty shootout on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is still actively searching for ways to safeguard abortion access for millions of women, even as it bumps up against a complex web of strict new state laws enacted in the months after the Supreme Court stripped the constitutional right.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.