On Thursday, Greece announced that Turkey’s jets and UAVs violated Greek airspace 110 times on Wednesday.
The provocations by Turkey came on the same day that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned Athens that Ankara will decide “when and where we shall go,” referring to the prospect of a landing on and occupation of a Greek island.
According to the Greek General Staff, the airspace and FIR violations as well as four overflights were carried out by a total of twenty Turkish fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and naval cooperation aircraft ATR-72.
Four of the sixteen Turkish F-16 fighter jets in total were armed.
One engagement with Greek fighter jets was recorded, too.
The 110 violations were carried out by sixteen F-16, two UAVs, and two ATR-72 in the northeast, central, and southeast Aegean Sea.
Specifically, the F-16 conducted forty-eight violations and the UAV violations amounted to sixty-two while four of them were overflights.
Violations of Greece’s airspace by Turkey are a daily occurrence
Turkey’s violations of Greek airspace have become a daily source of tension in recent months.
In May 2022, Turkish jets flew near the Greek city of Alexandroupolis, forcing the US Stae Department to respond.
In a statement, Ned Pierce, a State Department spokesperson, stated that: “We encourage all countries to respect the sovereign airspace of other countries and to operate state aircraft with due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft.”
Earlier in the week, the first two of a total of eighty-three upgraded F-16 jets arrived at the Tanagra Airbase in Greece.
The first two F-16 Viper jets will serve as pilot training aircraft. Greece hopes to receive at least six more jets by the end of 2022.
Greece is also boosting its air force arsenal with Rafale fighter jets made by France’s Dassault.
On July 21st, the company delivered the first of eighteen jets—twelve used, six new—that Greece is slated to receive under a three billion dollar deal signed in January 2021.