The exercise comes at a time when tensions between Greece and Turkey have risen high over an area in the eastern Mediterranean. The two NATO countries are on a collision course because they are both searching for oil and gas in disputed waters.
The Turks search for natural gas just off the coast, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo. But the sea around that island is part of Greece’s exclusive economic zone according to international maritime law. Turkey is outraged that it cannot claim the natural gas in that part of the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey is also at loggerheads with Cyprus and Egypt over natural gas deposits.
It’s not the first military exercise in the area. Two weeks ago, to Turkey’s displeasure, France and Greece also held an exercise there. Also with the US, Greece held an exercise two days ago near the Greek island of Crete.