NEWS

Turks harass Israeli plane off Rhodes

Turkish fighters harassed an Israeli military transport plane off the coast of Rhodes yesterday morning, in the apparent belief that they were dealing with a Greek aircraft. According to an air force announcement, two Turkish F-16 fighters «approached and harassed» the Israeli C-130 at a height of 24,000 feet, 15 miles (24 km) east of the southeastern Aegean island. The incident took place inside the Athens Flight Information Region. The Turkish planes were chased away by Greek fighters. The C-130 had been practicing landing and taking off at Rhodes airport, under a Greek-Israeli military cooperation deal. Last Wednesday, Turkish jets flew dangerously close to a Greek C-130 in the Athens FIR between Chios and Lesvos. Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday accused Ankara of aerial aggressiveness. «The violations [of Greek air space] are continuing,» he said.