Violations of Greek airspace by Turkish warplanes over the Aegean continued on Christmas Day, with Hellenic Air Force jets intercepting the aircraft according to international regulations.
Two pairs of Turkish F-16s flew over the Greek islands of Kastelorizo, Stroggyli and Rho in the afternoon, at an altitude of over 27,000 feet, and then immediately departed the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR).
According to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), two Turkish F-16 fighter jets entered the Athens FIR without submitting a flight plan at 15:04 GMT, flew over Kastelorizo and Stroggyli at an altitude of 27,000 feet, and exited the Athens FIR within the same minute.
Three minutes later, at 15:07 GMT, another pair of Turkish F-16s entered the Athens FIR, also without submitting a flight plan, flew over the island of Rho at an altitude of 28,000 feet, and immediately exited the Athens FIR.
The Turkish aircraft were identified and intercepted by Greek fighter jets in accordance with the international rules of engagement.
The incident came a day after Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos harshly criticized Turkish military and political officials. Kammenos’ statements were in response to hostile comments made earlier by several Turkish authorities.