The area around Kastelorizo island, in terms of national policy, as well as exercising Greece’s rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (next to Cyprus’ EEZ), was for years regarded as a no-fly zone by Greek air fighters. The reason is simple, Athens followed the theory that an intensified presence of the Greek armed forces in this area would become a “magnet” for Turkish planes. The island, as we all know, is of significant economic importance to Greece and Cyprus’ since the
island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) bridges the EEZ of Cyprus to that
of Rhodes, thereby creating a unified Grecian-Cypriotic EEZ.
region has also become geo-strategically important due to the huge
hydrocarbon gas reserves found there and thus follows specific defense planning.
The same tactic was used by Turkey, but following a provocation of Turkish RF-4E fighters, which apparently flew only 300
meters above the island, this is beginning to change.The area now is at high risk, said a report on defencenet.
So what do the terms “change of strategy” actually mean, and how do these affect us?
Basically, the new line of strategy involves frequent visits by Greek fighters. Also, the F-16 Block 52 + airforce which is based on Crete is on alert 24 hours a day for possible threats against Kastelorizo and according to the same article the minute Turkish planes are detected in the area Greek fighters are on the go before the Turkish planes even reach the island.
Greek officials know that it is difficult to block all the provocations, but at least with this new strategy they will give Turkish fighters a run for their money.