France to deploy fighter jets in eastern Mediterranean

14 August 2020 (Last Updated August 14th, 2020 14:03)

France has decided to send two fighter jets in the eastern Mediterranean region amid escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey.

France to deploy fighter jets in eastern Mediterranean
Rafale fighter jet. Credit: Tim Felce (Airwolfhound).

France has decided to send two fighter jets in the eastern Mediterranean region amid escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey.

The deployment will include two Rafale fighter jets, as well as a naval frigate Lafayette.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in French: “I have decided to temporarily reinforce the French military presence in the eastern Mediterranean in the coming days in cooperation with European partners, including Greece.”

The two warplanes and the ship had already arrived at the Greek island of Crete and participated in joint exercises, Reuters reported, citing Greek defence sources.

Greece and Turkey are embroiled in a dispute over oil and gas exploration in contested waters.

France has already urged Turkey to suspend hydrocarbon exploration activities.

According to the news agency, French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also discussed the situation over the phone.

The simmering tensions between Greece and Turkey recently escalated after Turkish seismic vessel Oruc Reis sailed through the disputed waters being guarded by naval ships.

Greece also deployed warships to monitor the Turkish movement, an Al Jazeera report said.

Developed by Dassault Aviation, Rafale jets are multirole fighter aircraft.

Recently, India received five Rafale aircraft at the Ambala Air Force Station (AFS) as part of a larger order of 36 jets.