By Bijan Razzaghi
Turkish aircraft did not shoot down the Mirage 2000 that crashed off the coast of Skyros. The incident happened after an engagement with Turkish F-16s as the aircraft was returning and was likely due to a mechanical failure. The Greek Mirages scrambled to intercept a formation of Turkish F-16s that had entered a piece of disputed airspace. The Greek pilot who lost his life in the crash was known to be a highly decorated officer.
Greece and Turkey have had disputes over the regions airspace identification zone for decades despite both country’s being members of the NATO alliance. It is highly unlikely that this recent intercept will lead to anything significant and relations will likely deescalate. Turkey has been tied up with its evolvement in Syria against YPG rebels and PKK militants and will likely disengage from any further disputes with Greece.