Turkey claims fighter jets "radar locked" by Greek missile system

Turkey claims fighter jets "radar locked" by Greek missile system
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The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that fighters jets were harassed during a mission in international airspace in a "hostile act" by Greek S-300 defense system.

Turkish fighter jets were harassed by a Greek air defense system on Tuesday as they were flying over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish state news agency AA said citing Turkish Defense Ministry sources.

Turkish jets were "radar locked" on 23 August during a mission in international airspace, according to the sources who spoke to AA on Sunday on condition of anonymity. They described the alleged Greek response as a "hostile act" in the context of NATO rules of engagement.

The harassment came from a Russian-made S-300 air defense system stationed on the island of Crete, the sources claimed.

Greek media Ekathimerini reported on Sunday, that the year 2022 is "projected to be the worst in terms of Turkish airspace violations in 14 years."

A total of 4,734 violations of national airspace occurred in the first half of 2022, just 77 fewer than those recorded over the whole of 2019, it said.

Turkey and Greece, two neighboring NATO members, are at odds over maritime boundaries, extent of their continental shelves and airspace. The disputes lead to regular air force patrols and interception missions mostly around Greek islands near Turkey’s coasts.

While Athens accuses Ankara of overflying Greek islands, Ankara says Greece is stationing troops on islands in violation of peace treaties.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said in May that Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis "no longer exists" for him, accusing the Greek PM of trying to block sales of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey during a visit to the United States.

"I will never agree to meet with him. We will continue our way with honorable politicians,” Erdogan had added.