Guards and police holding the northeastern Greek land border with Turkey thwarted what authorities say was an organized push to breach the frontier in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to sources, some 350 migrants and refugees made numerous attempts to break through defenses at the Kastanies crossing in the northeastern region of Evros between 2.30 and 4 a.m., with the support of men of the Turkish security forces on the other side, who are said to have fired tear gas against Greek border guards.
Members of the European Union’s Frontex force assisted in the operation to secure the Greek border, which has been under pressure since February 28, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his government would not longer prevent refugees and migrants from trying to reach the European Union.
Wednesday’s push came hours after Erdogan and the leaders of Germany, France and Britain – Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson – failed to reach an agreement on a revision of the 2016 migration agreement between the EU and Ankara.
The incident has put the Greek armed forces on high alert against a possible barrage of similar attempts to push across different parts of the Greek-Turkish land and sea border over the course of the next few days.