Report: Turkey scrambles jets after Israeli craft enters Turkish Cyprus airspace (HAŽARETZ NEWS) 05/18/12)
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Citing Ankara army officials, Turkish daily says Israeli craft passed
near contentious gas, oil exploration region in Eastern Mediterranean.
An Israeli aircraft repeatedly violated the airspace of Turkish
Cyprus earlier this week near the site of a controversial gas
exploration field, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported on Thursday,
citing Ankara military officials.
The reported incident is just one in a long line of apparent scuffles
between Israel, Cyprus, and Turkey over the rights to explore the
eastern section of the Mediterranean for gas and oil.
Late last year, Turkish media reported that Israeli fighter jet were
scrambled at a Turkish seismic research ship in the Eastern
Mediterranean, saying that two IAF F-15s took off to face the Turkish
vessel, flying through the airspace of both Cyprus and Turkish Cyprus.
The report added that the warplanes approached the Turkish ship
despite incessant warnings by forces in Turkish Cyprus, according to
which the planes had breached the territory´s airspace.
Ultimately, the report indicated, Turkey launched two F-16 fighters
to track the Israeli planes, at which point the IAF fighter jets
returned to Israeli airspace.
According to a Hurriyet report on Thursday, Turkish military
officials accused Israel of violating the airspace of Turkish Cyprus
on five different occasions on Monday, prompting Turkey to scramble
jets in order to chase off the Israeli warplanes.
The report indicated that Turkey´s military did not provide any more
details concerning the incident and failed to specify which type of
craft was involved. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/18/12)
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