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Turkish fighters harass Greek Prime Minister Chinook helicopter

The Turkish fighters, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet, asked the Chinook pilot, which at that moment was at 1,500 feet, to provide flight details

On Apr. 17 a Greek CH-47 Chinook helicopter ferrying Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS), came under harassment from two Turkish fighters near the islet of Ro.

According Ekathimerini.com the Turkish fighter jets, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet, asked the Chinook pilot, which at that moment was at 1,500 feet, to provide flight details.

The pilot immediately informed the prime minister and the HNDGS Chief and alerted the Greek air force that scrambled two fighter jets, which approached the area at 20,000 feet. The Turkish aircraft retreated.

Earlier that day, Tsipras said Greece will defend its sovereignty “in any way it can… and will not cede an inch of territory,” referring to the recent spike in tension with Turkey.

“Our neighbors do not always behave in a manner befitting good neighbors,” he said at the inauguration of two desalination units on the island. However he added that he was sending Ankara “a message of cooperation and peaceful coexistence but also of determination.”

Last week a Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Mirage 2000-5 fighter jet has crashed east of the island of Skyros, Aegean Sea, killing its pilot, while returning to the base after having been involved in a dogfight with Turkish fighter jets that violated Greece’s airspace.

The aircraft was part of a section of two Mirage 2000-5s from 331 Combat Wing in Tanagra, Attica, that took off from the air base on Skyros to intercept Turkish fighter jets that had violated the Flight Information Region (FIR) Athens.

HAF fighters Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) have intensified in recent weeks to face Turkish aircraft in near-daily mock dogfights in disputed airspace.

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Photo credit: U.S. Air Force and Ekathimerini.com

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

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