Turkey will shoot down any UAE jets that violates Turkish territory.
Image Credit: Massimo Pieranunzi
On Friday, Al-Quds Al-Araby reported that the Turkish military will not hesitate to shoot down any United Arab Emirates (UAE) jets if they violate Turkish airspace or the work area of the Oruc Reis, a Turkish seismic survey vessel currently exploring for oil and gas in East Mediterranean.
The source said, ‘We will not hesitate to shoot down any UAE aircraft if it approached the Turkish waters or the work area of Oruc Reis near Crete island in the Eastern Mediterranean.’
This comes amid escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey over zone disputes with known reserves of oil and gas. UAE pledged support to Greece and sent some F-16 fighter jets to Crete for a joint drill with Greece last week.
The source from Al- Quds Al-Araby also said ‘The UAE is trying to play a role which is bigger than its size. It is playing with fire. If it violates the redlines or it approaches the Turkish waters, it will receive a harsh lesson.’
Last week, the UAE carried out military drills in the Eastern Mediterranean with Greece, while Turkey was also carrying out its own military drill. Sources say that during the military drill, a top UAE official phoned Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gatz, possibly to get Israeli support against Turkey. It is believed that Israel along with UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia believe Turkey is a threat in the region, over its ‘sloppy, risk taking decisions in the Middle East’ according to Roger Boyes, who wrote about in the Sunday Times. Mr. Boyes claimed that Israel’s Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen discussed Turkey’s actions with UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.