Greek air force pilots intercepted Turkish fighter planes that illegally entered Greece’s airspace 40 times on Tuesday, December 17, as tensions continue to soar between the two countries, with Ankara claiming they are set to drill off the island of Crete.
Fighter jets from Greece and Turkey engaged in 16 mock dogfights following multiple Turkish incursions into Greek airspace.
Ankara has threatened to send military forces into the eastern Mediterranean and place armed drones in northern Cyprus over the territorial disputes, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said in Parliament on Tuesday.
“If necessary, Turkey will send troops, drills in the east Mediterranean and launch cross-border operations. It will do whatever is required,” Oktay was quoted saying by Turkey’s Ahval newspaper.
Meanwhile, Greece is planning to buy drones from the US and Israel that could be used to monitor Turkish maneuvers in the Mediterranean, as Greece needs more surveillance capabilities in light of the maritime border deal between Turkey and Libya, announced Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos in Parliament this week.