Türkiye has accused Greece of continued “hostile acts” against the Turkish jets, this time by activating the Russian-made S-300 air defense system based on Crete Island.
In earlier incidents in the past week, the Greek jetfighters twice harassed the Turkish F-16s carrying out NATO missions over the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean.
Sources from the Defense Ministry informed on Aug. 28 that the Turkish jets carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean were put under the radar lock of the S-300 air defense systems. The incident took place on Aug. 23 while the Turkish warplanes were flying at 10,000 feet west of Rhodes, noted the ministry.
Greece deployed the Russian-made S-300 air defense system to Crete in the late 1990s in order to overcome a major crisis between Türkiye and Greek Cyprus. The defense system had been originally purchased by the Greek Cypriot administration but Türkiye’s strong reaction caused them to change plans. Greece did use the system once for testing but Türkiye’s statement shows that it has activated the S-300s.
The Turkish sources described the Greek acts as “incompatible with the spirit of NATO alliance” and “hostile” under the NATO rules of engagement. “Despite this hostile action, Turkish jets completed their planned missions and returned to their base safely,” told sources.
The Greek use of S-300 systems is also surfacing a major double-standard on the side of the alliance, as the prominent allied countries, particularly the United States, have long been reacting against the Turkish deployment of the S-400 air defense systems from Russia, recalled sources.
Twice harassment of Turkish jets
Last week, the ministry announced that the Turkish warplanes were harassed by Greek jetfighters on Aug. 22 and Aug. 24, although they were conducting NATO missions. It accused Greece of risking NATO activities and creating new provocations in the Mediterranean and Aegean.
In an interview on Aug. 26 with the daily Hürriyet, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar strongly warned Greece to avoid new adventures that would result in a big defeat just like they had observed one century ago.__Daily Hurriyet