Turkish drones causing concern for Athens, says retired Greek general
Yorgo Kırbaki- Athens
Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicles, flying in a large area stretching from the Evros (Meriç) River on the common border in the north to the Greek island of Meis, or Kastellorizo, have become a “headache,” for Greece, Evangelos Yeorgusis, a retired Greek general, has said.
The Turkish drones have recently increased the number of flights they conduct over the Aegean Sea, causing concerns among Greek military commanders and the retired general voiced those worries in a recent article.
In the article, titled “Bayraktar testing Greek defenses” for the Greek daily Ta Nea, the former air force commander noted that the low-cost Bayraktar TB2 drones are capable of executing three to four flights a day at low, medium and high altitudes, observing the movements of the Greek navy ships and defenses on the Greek Islands.
Even though it is a costly operation, Greece has to dispatch F16 jets to face the Turkish drones.
“It is already not easy for Greece to deal with this and it will become even more difficult if Turkey increases the number of drones and the number of flights,” Yeorgusis said, adding that with those drone flights Ankara is also reminding its claims about the Aegean Sea.
The retired general noted that some are floating the idea of shooting down the Turkish drones. But said that this could provide a solution only if decision makers think the tension, which would erupt as a result of such actions, could be resolved in Greece’s favor.
Meanwhile, the Rafale fighter jets Greece bought from France have started to fly over the Aegean Sea. France delivered six aircrafts last month. Three of the jets executed a training mission recently.
“What difference would it make if we buy 200 Rafale jets? Turks will surround us with 400 drones,” Kyriakos Velopoulos, leader of a nationalist party, Greek Solution, said in an interview.