Greece, Turkey Close to ‘Fatal Accident’

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos

Greece and Turkey are close to a “fatal accident” Athens’ defense minister has warned.

Panos Kammenos, in an interview with French newspaper Liberation on Saturday, said: “We are very close to a fatal accident. When our airspace is violated, we send our aircraft to drive the Turkish aircraft outside our airspace.”

“Greece is basically at the mercy of an accident that can at any moment engulf the coastguard, navy etc.,” he added.

“With the violation of territorial waters and airspace, both Greek and European, Ankara is also trying to exert pressure on Europe. We are obliged to defend our territory, which is not only Greek but also European,” the minister said.

On Friday, Kammenos also said two junior Greek army officers being held in Turkey were “hostages”.

The U.S. has previously said it is also worried about an accident between Greek and Turkish forces in the Aegean.

U.S. ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt speaking in late January said: “As long as you have these lethal complex military systems operating close to each other, there is always a terrible risk of an accident, which of course will cause great complications in your relationship.”