Israel decided to play hard poker today and sent a fighter outside of Kastelorizo in response to sending Turkish intelligence aircraft that flew a few miles out of Israeli airspace!
Immediately two Israeli fighter jets took off from the Israeli base to the region over the Rizokarpaso and informed the Office of Civil Aviation of Cyprus and not the FIR Ercan.
The aircraft continued their flights to the Gulf of Mersin and flew parallel to the coast of southern Turkey just 15 miles up Phoenicia near Kastelorizo!
The Israeli fighters followed the regulations stipulated by the FLIR Nicosia and certainly not those of Ercan which illegally considers the airspace over the occupied part of the island as its own, a report on defencenet said adding that when the situation was under control, the fighters headed south and returned to Israel.
Shortly afterwards a Turkish F-16 tried to reach Israel but immediately 6 Israeli fighter jets chased it out of the area!.
Meanwhile the Piri Reis sailed near the plots 7, 8 and 12, in Cyprus EEZ where Noble Energy is drilling for natural gas and oil. (45 km from the platform and 100 km from the coast of Limassol).
Ankara apparently gave permission to the Turkish Petroleum Company Limited (TRAO) to proceed with investigations and drilling west of Paphos and the sea area within the Cyprus’s EEZ.
The Director of the Energy Service of the Cyprus Ministry of Trade – Industry Solon Kasinis presented three-dimensional representation of Venus (or plot 12), indicating a high presence of hydrocarbon regions.
Parallel to all of this, we also found out today that there is a large military presence in the region of “Venus” from the US, which consists of naval vessels of the 6th Fleet. Reports say they are now permanently stationed in the Mediterranean and apparently patrol the area where Nobel is doing the drilling, as well as monitor spy planes and electronic warfare. Also in the area are Israeli military forces.
Even Russian ships, stationed in Syria, have incorporated patrol routes in their routine around plot 12 or “Venus” as have British naval forces and forces of UNIFIL as well.
It is worth noting that the Cyprus Republic has committed a range of 5 miles radius around the plot 12.
The “Piri Reis” actually sailed within 40-60 km south of Akrotiri in Limassol and the closest distance it reached from the Noble Ferrington platform was reported to be some 45 km, a separate report on onalert said.
At the same time Turkish fighters and helicopters also made their appearance west of Paphos and in Akamas.
In any case, and despite the violations recorded by FIR Nicosia, no harassment was reported.
In other news, Amos Gilad, the Director of the Political and Military Office of Israel’s Ministry of Defence made a rush, and unscheduled visit to Athens today, in order to meet with Greek defence ministry officials, Athens press reports said. It is expected that the main subject of discussion cantered around the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus the new Saudi Arabia?
Vast quantities of oil and natural gas are expected to be found in Plot 12 or “Venus” in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone or (EEZ) and the exact amounts and/or results will be known in late November.