The Turkish Defense Ministry has explained that Turkish fighter jets felt “threatened” after a Greek S-300 missile system “targeted” F-16s on a reconnaissance mission in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, and has warned Athens that this action is a “hostile act”.
The group of F-16s, whose number was not specified by the Ministry of Defense, was flying over the Mediterranean Sea on August 23 last, west of the Greek island of Rhodes, when the Greek side used surface-to-air missiles to identify the Turkish aircraft.
“Despite the harassment, the Turkish planes completed their planned mission and returned safely to their bases,” the Turkish side explained in a statement, adding that the Greek radar system is based in Crete, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Ankara has therefore reminded Athens that radar jamming of fighter planes of a NATO ally is considered a “hostile act” and has accused Greece of breaching Atlantic Alliance regulations.
For its part, Greece denied Sunday that it had threatened Turkish F-16s with its S-300 system. “The interception is carried out by our fighter jets in accordance with international rules according to standard practice,” military sources have told the ‘Kathimerini’ daily.