NEWS

Turkish helicopter flies near islet of Ro, Greek troops fire warning shots

TAGS: Turkey, Defense

A Turkish helicopter flew around the perimeter of the eastern Greek islet of Ro, west of the Dodecanese island of Kastellorizo, at a low altitude late on Monday, Kathimerini reported. 

The helicopter left the area after Greek troops reportedly responded by firing tracer rounds as a warning.

It was not clear what type of helicopter was involved in the incident which reportedly took place around 11.30 p.m. on Monday.  

Sources within the Defense Ministry said that the rules of engagement were implemented. Sources said Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was in constant contact with the head of the General Army Command (GES) and the chief of Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff (GEETHA).

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was also briefed about the incident. 

Defense Ministry sources said that incidents of this sort are intended for the purpose of domestic consumption in Turkey. They added that Greece refrains from any provocation and will respond to similar actions in accordance with international rules of engagement.

In a tweet Tuesday, the main opposition New Democracy’s shadow defense minister Vassilis Kikilias criticized the ministry for failing to provide details about Monday’s incident.

On Sunday, two Turkish fighter jets entered Athens’s FIR, ignoring an informal moratorium on military activity that is customary between Greece and Turkey during major religious holidays.

All violations were carried out by two Turkish F-16 jets which flew over Oinousses, a cluster of small islands in the northeastern Aegean.

The overflights came on the heels of a visit by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos to a military outpost on Oinousses earlier on Sunday to exchange Easter wishes with the soldiers.

Online