|photo by defencenet|
Military reports said on Sunday morning that since 22:00 on Saturday night, dozens of Turkish military planes performed provocative flights within Cyprus FIR with CAP and CAS exercises thus “freezing” flights to the Middle East and the Pacific.
One of the areas is located south of Limassol and the “Homer” platform and there are thoughts about sending Israeli fighter jets there since it belongs to Nicosia FIR. The second area which is also cause for concern is situated along the northern coast of the island. A report on defencenet said that the Turkish fighter jets were flying over these areas at a height of 20,000 feet.
By “freezing” or better yet by taking control of the skies in these areas, even for a few hours, flights to the Middle East and the Pacific are apparently affected. The Republic of Cyprus obviously denounced the event to the ICAO, by sending a letter of NOTAM, and indicated that the freezing of these areas was done illegally and without its consent. The move by Cyprus also gives a diplomatic reason for Israel to intervene.
The General Staff of Cyprus’ National Guard has already called for antiaircraft forces to be on standby, while the Mount Troodos radar is continuously broadcasting information from Turkish activity.
On its part, Israel, which is celebrating a Jewish holiday, has put its air and naval forces on high readiness, as well as a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles. Many Israeli fighter jets are flying in the area since information services said they had reports that Israeli merchant vessels were being harassed by Turkish aircraft.
Two Israeli corvettes are said to be sailing in the area.
The Turkish fighters involved in the exercises included F-16, F-4 Terminator 2020 (which have been modernized by the Israelis …) and electronic warfare aircraft CN-325-100 and C-160.