October 27, 2016

Turkey stops violating Greece airspace

Turkish F-16 fighter jets fly in formation during a parade in Istanbul. (Reuters)

Turkish warplanes have stopped their frequent violations of the Greek airspace in the wake of downing a Russian fighter jet less than a week ago, Greek officials say.

“On November 25 a squadron of six Turkish warplanes, two with arms on board, strayed into Greek airspace, but no such incidents have been registered ever since,” said Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff in a statement, as quoted by Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Sunday.

But these, by no means, have been the sole violations of the Greek airspace by Turkish warplanes.

The number of breaches made by Turkish jets in 2014 alone was 2,244 cases, with 636 more intrusions in comparison with that of 2013, according to statistics released Wednesday by University of Thessaly based on the Greek military’s count, the Greek newspaper of Protothema reported.

It also reported that in October, Turkey made 1,443 more intrusions into its European neighbor’s airspace.

Turkish fighter jets habitually violate Greek airspace over disputed islands in the Aegean Sea, inciting the Greek Air Force to dispatch its warplanes to intercept, which almost always ends peacefully with mere mock dogfights.

Russian Sukhoi -24M warplane is seen going down in flames in Syria near the Turkish border, on November 24, 2015.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slammed Turkey over “violations” of Greece’s air space, accusing it of making an “outrageous” and “unbelievable” situation over the Aegean Sea.

Citing the recent downing of the Russian warplane by Turkey, Tsipras admired the stance of Greek pilots for not being “as mercurial” as their Turkish counterparts.

On Tuesday, Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 bomber, which it claimed had entered its airspace for “17 seconds” – an allegation Russia strongly rejects. One of the two pilots was rescued while the other was killed by Takfiri militants after parachuting from the plane.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said right after the incident that the attack was a “stab in the back by accomplices of terrorists.” source: presstv

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