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Dec 17 2018

Turkish jets violated Greek airspace, says defence general staff

The Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) said two Turkish F-16 jets violated Greek airspace twice on Monday, the Greek Reporter reported.

According to the statement, Turkish jets flew over the Greek island of Oinousses at the height of 26,000 feet on Monday.

F-16 jets violated Greek airspace while the Greek Minister of Defense, Panos Kammenos was in the eastern Aegean Sea visiting military units on the islands of Chios, Oinousses and Panagia. 

"He was on Oinousses at the very moment of the second violation, paying an official visit to a local military unit," the website said.

The Turkish jets were intercepted by Greek jets and forced Turkish jets out of Athens’ Flight Information Region, according to Greek Reporter.

Turkish violations of Greek airspace are common, and the issue has been brought before international authorities numerous times by the Greek government.

Tensions have been escalating between Athens and Ankara due to issues such as sovereignty over airspace and overflights and Greek Cypriot attempts to explore and exploit hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.