Low-flying Israeli jet fighters "harassed" a Turkish seismic research ship exploring for natural gas reserves near Cyprus
Low-flying Israeli jet fighters "harassed" a Turkish seismic research ship exploring for natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean near Cyprus on Thursday night, according to Turkish media reports, in what seemed to be a further escalation in the already fraying ties between the once longtime allies.
Today's Zaman, citing accounts in Turkish daily Vatan and Greek Cyptrio daily Phileleftheros, reported that two F-15 jets took off from Tel Aviv and flew through the airspace of both Greek Cyprus and Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus. The jets reportedly ignored warnings from officials of Turkish Cyprus.
According to the report, Turkey sent two F-16 jets to track the Israeli F-15s, which subsequently returned to occupied Palestine.
Turkey said on Tuesday it was exploring for gas in an offshore zone where Cyprus started drilling last week.