Friday, October 9, 2015

Beam in Own Eye: Greece Scrambles Jets After Turkish F16s Violate Airspace

Turkish F16 jets

© AP Photo/ Selcan Hacaoglu

Greece scrambled fighter jets to intercept a pair of Turkish F16 planes over neutral waters of the Aegean Sea in a move condemned by Ankara but described by Athens as fully consistent with international procedure.

Two Greek Air Force F16s had their missiles locked onto six Turkish F16 jets during what the Turkish military said was a training mission in international airspace over the Aegean Sea. “Just as six Turkish F16 fighter planes conducted a training flight over the Aegean Sea two Greek war jets held them in their crosshairs for 2 minutes and 13 seconds,” the Turkish General Military Staff said in a statement Friday.
The Greek military website had earlier reported 39 violations of the country’s airspace by Turkish military aircraft.
According to the Greek side, three groups of Turkish F16 and F4A warplanes, as well as three CN-235s and a helicopter, entered the Greek airspace 39 times.
The planes were intercepted and identified in line with standard procedure.
Turkey and Greece have seen a rapid increase in incidents since 2013. In the first month of 2014 alone, Turkish aircraft allegedly violated Greek airspace 1,017 times.
This was twice the number of total airspace violations between the two countries for the first half of 2013.

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