18:37 GMT28 February 2021
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    The Greek Armed Forces have been placed on combat readiness since dawn on Thursday due to Turkish provocations, a source in the Greek Defense Ministry said Thursday.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) – Over the recent days, the Turkish military aircraft have been registered flying above the Greek islands in northeastern part of the Aegean Sea, which was seen as a potential threat by Athens.

    "We are holding large exercises in order to be ready. Turkey has historically always tried to export problems when it has domestic ones. We must be ready for that," the source told RIA Novosti.

    He also said that the drills were conducted in the north of Greece, near the city of Kilkis at the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The source stressed that the drills were in no way connected with the recent migrant incident.

    Earlier this week, Macedonian police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at migrants as they tried to break through a border fence on the Greek side of the border. The move raised concern in both countries, with Greece’s envoy in Skopje Theoharis Lalakos handing two protest notes on April 11 to the government of the Republic of Macedonia.

    Europe has been beset by a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants fleeing their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty. A large number of them cross the Mediterranean Sea and arrive in the European Union using Greece or Italy as transit points.


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