Turkish defence ministry sources say that Greece’s Russia-made S-300 system stationed on the island of Crete placed radar locks on Turkish fighter jets.
Turkish jets carrying out missions over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean were “harassed” by a Greek S-300 air defence system, Turkish Defence Ministry sources have said.
Turkish jets were “radar locked” on August 23 on a mission in international airspace, said the sources on Sunday, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, describing the Greek harassment as a “hostile act” according to the NATO rules of engagement.
“Despite this hostile act, the planes completed their planned missions and returned to their bases safely,” the sources added.
The harassment came from a Russian-made S-300 air defence system stationed on the island of Crete, the sources said.
They underlined that some NATO countries continue to criticise Türkiye for buying Russian-made S-400 systems but say nothing about Greece, which purchased the previous version of the system nearly 25 years ago.
‘Against’ NATO principles
Sources say that a NATO country, namely Greece, harassing another NATO country’s warplanes through the Russian-made S-300 system is “against the principles of the NATO alliance.”
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated “provocative” actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, saying such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.
In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defence system from the US proved futile, Türkiye signed a contract with Russia to acquire the state-of-the-art S-400s.
US officials voiced opposition to their deployment, claiming the S-400s would be incompatible with NATO systems.
Türkiye, however, stressed that the S-400s would not be integrated into NATO systems, and pose no threat to the alliance or its armaments, and has repeatedly proposed setting up a commission to clarify the issue.