No matter how many drones they prepare and no matter how many threats Erdogan launches, Crete will remain the main pillar that can change plans and balances in the Aegean.
After Erdoğan’s outrageous and slanderous speech at the UN it is obvious that we are entering full speed into a completely new environment of confrontation with Greece.
No one can now predict the next moves of the Turkish president, and whether this will lead to a “hot episode”. For now, the new fact is that the Turks are escalating the provocations and the ever-increasing drone overflights over islands and islets.
The presence of the much-advertised Bayraktar TB2 worries many, although the Israeli Drone Dome system that we already have drastically reduces their capabilities, “blinding” their electronic systems.
But in the long run, Greece’s main weapon against the possibility of a conflict is Crete. The island which many times in history has emerged as a stronghold of our country, and once again it seems to be the strategic element that scares the Turks.
The announcement that Greece that Crete will house the F-35s when they arrive as well as the new F-16 Vipers, along with the large UAVs we will purchase, has greatly alarmed the Turks.
The reason is simple: The Turks have directed their attention and the general arrangement of their air defense towards the Aegean islands. The reinforcement of Crete as the main base of the Greek air force forces the Turks to change the layout of their air defense and spread it towards the South.
The existence of stealth F-35s and Vipers in Crete and their ability to operate not directly from the islands but from the southern side, obliges the Turks to redesign all their plans and redesign their air defenses based on the new data.
Indicative of how “open” Turkey is in this aspect is that Greek F-16s have managed to land in Cyprus without being heard from.
Turkey’s Achilles heel on this side is further highlighted, after the decision of the Americans to stop the ban on the sale of arms to Cyprus.
So Crete, in combination with the help it could receive from Cyprus, create a completely new status in the Southeast Mediterranean, with the Turks being forced to change their plans.
In any case, however, the choice of Crete as a key pressure lever of Turkish aggression, in combination with the upgrading of Alexandroupoli, creates enormous irritation among the Turks.
Whether this irritation will lead to a hot episode or will the voice of reason prevail remains to be seen. Until then, the logic of composure and preparedness is definitely the best method against an “ally” completely mindless.
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