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Turkish Warplanes Violate Greek Airspace Ahead of NATO Sea Operations

turkish-air-forceTurkish jet fighters entered Greek airspace several times on Monday, as NATO was preparing to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to tackle migrant smugglers.
Specifically, six Turkish fighter jets and a CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft entered successively in the Athens FIR on Monday without submitting a flight plan, violating the Greek airspace 22 times in different regions of the Aegean.
The Athens FIR also recorded two more violations of air traffic rules. Nineteen out of 22 violations were committed by the CN-235 which passed between islands of the eastern and central Aegean.
According to Hellenic Air Force sources, the aforementioned aircraft entered Athens’ FIR at 14:09 local time between Lemnos and Lesbos and exited at 16:21 east of Rhodes.
The Turkish warplanes were recognized in all cases and were intercepted by Greek fighter jets as per international regulations. In two cases the interception process developed into a dogfight. Two of the Turkish aircraft were armed.
The incident occurred as a NATO naval group was to launch patrols in the waters between Greece and Turkey to deter migrant smugglers who carry people from the Turkish shores to the nearby Greek islands.
Athens repeatedly says that the refugee and migrant inflow would be tackled if Turkey deterred people smugglers operating along its coast. Also the Greek government asks from Ankara to apply a bilateral agreement on migrant re-admission which is currently all but inactive.

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