No peace for fighter pilots

In a sign of growing aggressiveness following a three-month lull, the Turkish air force yesterday increased its violations of Greek air space, leading to a third day of aerial jousts over the Aegean. A Defense Ministry statement said a total of 12 Turkish military jets breached Greek air space on 28 occasions on a front covering a large tract of the eastern central Aegean. All the intruders were locked onto by air defense systems before being intercepted and chased off by Greek fighter aircraft, the ministry said. Apart from a single flight south of Samothrace, most of the incidents took place between the islands of Chios and Kos. Two of the violations involved overflights of the islet of Agathonissi, in a minor echo of Wednesday’s incident in which a pair of Turkish jets penetrated deep into Greek air space to fly over the fortress island of Lemnos. Yesterday, the main opposition party, PASOK, accused the government of having failed to report the recent Turkish incursions to NATO and the European Commission.

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