Two pairs of Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jets carried out repeated flights over several Greek islets in the south Aegean on Tuesday morning, as well as entering the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) without submitting flight plans.
The four aircraft flew at a very high altitude, passing over the islets of Levitha, Mavria, Kinaros (east of Leros) and Agathonissi.
According to the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, the formation entered the Athens FIR at 10:35 and the first pair of fighter jets flew over Mavria and Levitha at 10:45, at 27,000 feet. They then passed over Mavria a second time at 10:49, again at a height of 27,000 feet, and exited the Athens FIR at 10:57.
The second pair of fighter jets flew over Kinaros at 10:45 at 26,000 feet, then Levitha at 10:48 at the same altitude, then passed over Mavria at 10:50 and Agathonissi at 10:59 before exiting the Athens FIR at 11:03.
The Turkish aircrafts were identified and intercepted by Greek fighter planes.
The large-scale Hellenic Navy maritime exercise 'Kataigis' is underway throughout the Aegean this week, while Kinaros, Levitha and Agathonissi are all listed as rare bird sanctuaries in the Natura 2000 network, the HNDGS announcement noted.