Turkish violations in Aegean during rare night-time operation come as major wildfire raged north of Athens

Wednesday, 04 Aug 2021 22:38 UPD: 22:48
HAF / KATSUHIKO TOKUNAGA

Greek officials referred to an unprecedented provocation by the Turkish military on Tuesday evening, charging that eight Turkish F-16s warplanes violated national airspace over the northern Aegean during rare night-time flights, which came as a major wildfire just north of Athens was absorbing much of state apparatus's attention.

The provocation was judged as egregious, even by standards associated with the Erdogan government's confrontational and saber-rattling over the past two years.

Thirteen infringements of Athens FIR regulations were cited by the Greek side, with Athens sending up its fighter planes to locate and chase away the intruding planes.

Other wildfires had erupted in Greece during the same day.

Turkey watchers last week also took note that Ankara declined assistance by Greece and other EU countries as its state services battled destructive wildfires in southern Turkey, and especially in the Antalya district. Instead, Ankara accepted help from Russia, Ukraine, Iran and Azerbaijan.

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