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Strong response from Israel: The IDF destroyed a rocket factory in Gaza

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Strong response from Israel: The IDF destroyed a rocket factory in Gaza
Israeli F-16 PHOTO COPYRIGHT: Tomás Del Coro (Flickr) (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomasdelcoro/28649997154/

Israel launched a heavy rocket barrage on Gaza in response to rockets fired by Hamas, showing how serious states respond to the challenges they face, regardless of one’s opinion on the particular case.

The Israeli military said early today that it had struck a rocket-making factory in central Gaza run by Hamas, the group responsible for unrest in the region.

Earlier, on two separate occasions, warning sirens were activated in southern Israel to alert citizens of approaching rockets.

Of course, Hamas or any other organization has not claimed responsibility for the attacks so far, but it is very difficult not to be their plan.

According to the Israeli military, one of the rockets was successfully shot down, while the other three (3) fell in fields without causing any casualties.

Strong response from Israel: The IDF destroyed a rocket factory in Gaza
Iron Dome, Photo by Oren Rozen, CC BY-SA 4.0

The choice to not intercept the remaining two is due to the IRON DOME system which examines the trajectory of each incoming rocket and prioritizes the initiation of intercept shots accordingly.

After a short period of peace, the situation has started to escalate again, especially at a time when Israel is in great political instability with repeated elections.

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Greece responded to France’s request for help

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Greece responded to France's request for help
Photo by civilprotection.gr

Greece responded to France’s request for assistance in extinguishing fires raging in the country by sending two Canadair aircraft.

Specifically, the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection announced:

“The response of our country to the request of the French authorities, through the European Civil Protection Mechanism and rescEU, for assistance, was immediate, as the country is affected by large forest fires, especially in its southwest, all that while until July the 14th, 6,000 inhabitants have been moved away from their homes as a precaution.

Greece responded to France's request for help
Photo by HAF Spokesman

From the first moment the request was activated, by order of the Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Christos Stylianides, Greece placed two Canadair CL-415 aircraft at the disposal of the Mechanism, which have already departed for France.

It is noted that this is the first time that France activates the rescEU, requesting assistance to deal with forest fires and Greece is the first and only country, so far, that responded to the request, supporting European solidarity in practice and with all its available forces. The French authorities have already expressed their warm thanks for the Greek mobilization,” the ministry’s statement says.

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The Greek lobby is a nightmare for Turkey – The Turkish media see it as a “scandal”

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The Greek lobby is a nightmare for Turkey - The Turkish media see it as a
An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to The Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center takes off from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Jan. 19, 2017. The AATC hosted by the 162nd Wing, Arizona Air National Guard conducts operational tests on behalf of each Air Force major command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nathan H. Barbour)

Turkish newspapers are in an uproar after the successful passage of the amendment blocking Turkey’s F-16 modernization program, and they now seem to understand the gravity of the situation for them.

The Turkish newspaper Sabah described the amendment that passed the House of Representatives of the United States of America and the resolution as scandalous which aims to hurt Turkey.

We remind you that the House of Representatives agreed to put restrictions on the sale of new F-16 fighter jets and F-16 modernization kits to Turkey.

The Greek lobby is a nightmare for Turkey - The Turkish media see it as a "scandal"
An F-16CJ Fighting Falcon “Wild Weasel” aircraft takes off from Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 24, 2015. The aircraft is assigned to the 35th Fighter Squadron from Misawa Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Osakabe Yasuo/Released)

The Turks targeted Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas and Republican Frank Pallone, who the Turkish newspapers say are both known for their close ties to the Greek lobby, as the main culprits.

The Greek lobby seems to have become a nightmare for Turkey as almost all articles mention how powerful it has become in the US and that it effectively blocks any Turkish move.

The proposed legislation requires that any sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey be approved by the President of the United States on the grounds that it is in the country’s best interest and guarantees that Greek airspace will not be violated by these fighters.

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Amendment banning F-16 sale to Turkey passed: Another step before becoming US law

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Amendment banning F-16 sale to Turkey passed: Another step before becoming US law
PHOTO By Jerry Gunner from Lincoln, UK - 93-0696 LMTAS F-16D Fighting Falcon 192º Filo Turkish AF, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24978118

The amendment that aims to prevent the sale and upgrade of Turkish F-16s has been passed by the plenary session of the US House of Representatives, putting in place a series of conditions that Turkey cannot fulfill, effectively completely prohibiting the sale of fighters.

Amendment banning F-16 sale to Turkey passed: Another step before becoming US law
Photo by Nebil; Turkish Air Force

Specifically, despite the intense Turkish pressure of the last few hours, which may also be related to the downgrading of the issue by the Turkish press as we mentioned recently, Chris Pappas’ amendment was accepted.

The next step, according to the response of Lena Argyris (ERTNews), is to submit a corresponding amendment to the US Senate, so that it becomes law.

Amendment banning F-16 sale to Turkey passed: Another step before becoming US law
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Tiffany A. Emery

In any case, Philhellenic Senator Bob Menendez has stated many times that he will do everything possible to ban the sale of military equipment to an increasingly expansionist Turkey.

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Greek RAFALE jets flew over France

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Greek RAFALE jets flew over France
Source: HAF (HAFSpokesman - Twitter)

Two Greek RAFALE F3R fighter jets participated in the Bastille Day celebrations, showing how much military cooperation between Greece and France has increased.

The Hellenic Air Force issued the following statement:

“Participation of 332 Squadron with two (2) Rafale F3R aircraft in the celebrations of the National Anniversary of France (Bastille Day)”

Greek RAFALE jets flew over France
SOURCE: HAF (HAFSpokesman – Twitter)

Greek RAFALEs flew in formation with French RAFALEs over Paris, causing awe to the assembled Greeks who recognized the Greek coat of arms with their cameras.

France’s National Day, also called July 14th and Bastille Day, is celebrated on July 14th every year. Greece participated in this particular military parade since invitations are sent to foreign countries friendly to France to commemorate this particular day together.

Greek RAFALE jets flew over France
SOURCE: HAF (HAFSpokesman – Twitter)

The Hellenic Air Force also published photos of the RAFALEs flight.

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How did the Turkish media and public opinion react to the “Greek” F-35?

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How did the Turkish media and public opinion react to the
A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Nicholas Priest)

The Turkish media is trying to downplay the visit of the Chief of Hellenic National Defense Staff, General Konstantinos Floros, to Texas where he inspected the F-35 production line, but the Turkish public opinion does not seem to have taken the development kindly.

Let’s start with the Turkish media

There are very few references to the visit of General Konstantinos Floros to the USA regarding the F-35s, which is not something the Turkish media usually do as they consider provocative even a simple visit to a Greek island.

Those who mentioned the visit of the Chief of Hellenic National Defense Staff, present it as something completely insignificant and in some cases comment that the USA is thus punishing Turkey for choosing the S-400.

How did the Turkish media and public opinion react to the "Greek" F-35?
Two U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II aircraft assigned to the 421st Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, fly behind a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, over the Pacific Ocean, (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Nicholas Priest)

The Turkish public opinion on the Greek F-35…

Despite the Turkish media’s downgrading of the entire procurement process of F-35 fighters from Greece, Turkish citizens seem to be divided by this development.

The majority of them, as we see from a quick “scroll” on social media, they also underestimate the threat, using arguments that have already been made by the Turkish propaganda, some of which are usually:

  • We have S-400
  • We have UAVs
  • We don’t need the F-35
  • The national TF-X fighter will be better than the F-35

Of course, there are also voices that see what is coming in the Aegean and comment angrily on the decisions of the Turkish leadership that have left the entire Turkish Air Force out of the game.

It is characteristic that the number of troubled Turks increased dramatically after the process of defining obstacles by the US Congress and regarding the upgrade of the Turkish F-16s to the Viper level (F-16V).

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Harsh Response of the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister on the “possible retreat” regarding Turkey

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During an interview with Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in the German Zeit Online, he answered questions regarding Greek-Turkish affairs and gave a very correct and disarming answer to a related question about demilitarization.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bela Chambers

During an interview of the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in the German Zeit Online, he answered questions regarding Greek-Turkish affairs and gave a very correct and disarming answer to a related question about demilitarization.

We will present to you some questions and answers that we consider most important:

ZEIT ONLINE: Mr. Varvitsiotis, how big is the risk of a real military confrontation with Turkey for the Greek islands?

M. Varvitsiotis: Turkey has intensified its aggressive rhetoric towards our country and has significantly increased its territorial claims in the Aegean Sea. Until 2020 there was a claim to extend its own EEZ in the Mediterranean and thus obtain the right to exploit the subsoil, but also the right to fish. But since 2021, Turkey often refers to Mavi Vatan, i.e. the so-called “Blue Homeland” or “Sea Homeland”. You know that the government in Ankara claims that it owns half of the Aegean Sea and that many of our islands belong to it and not to Greece. However, these views are ahistorical and unacceptable.

Harsh Response of the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister on the "possible retreat" regarding Turkey
Photo by NERIT, CC BY-SA 3.0 gr

ZEIT ONLINE: One of Turkey’s arguments is that, according to international treaties, there should be no Greek military presence on specific islands off its coast. What do you say about this?

M. Varvitsiotis: Of course, our army is on these islands. It couldn’t be otherwise. You have to take into account that we are facing the Turkish armed forces on the opposite bank, that is, over half a million soldiers. This number is still very high, despite all the other operations of the Turkish military – whether in Iraq or Syria or wherever else they have been involved in recent years.

ZEIT ONLINE: What would have to happen for this conflict with Turkey to end in a real war with Greece?

M. Varvitsiotis: It depends exclusively on how Turkey will behave. We don’t want this war. We will not do anything that could cause a war. But rest assured that we will defend ourselves, whenever necessary. And most importantly: we are not going to give in to any absurd Turkish demands. But I personally will not ask permission from Turkey to visit one of our islands. It sounds like a joke, but it’s the reality. There are many protests from Turkish officials because Greek Ministers are traveling to Greek islands near our eastern border. They even went so far as to accuse the President of the Republic, Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou. It is absolutely absurd and unacceptable.

But the most important question in our opinion is this:

ZEIT ONLINE: Can you make concessions on the demand that the Greek army withdraw from the islands?

M. Varvitsiotis: No. I remind you of a saying that says: I will not kill my dog ​​just because the neighbor would like to step on the grass in my garden.

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Construction of the 2nd FDI HN by Naval Group begins in France

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In addition to the arrival of the Chief of Hellenic National Defense General Staff, General Constantinos Floros, in Texas for the F-35, Naval Group announced that the construction of the second Greek FDI HN frigate has begun.

Naval Group appears to be working quickly to deliver the FDI HN frigates Greece has ordered for its Navy as soon as possible.

Construction of the 2nd FDI HN by Naval Group begins in France
PHOTO: NAVAL GROUP

The new jewels of the fleet with 32 ASTER-30s and the killer Exocet Block 3C will give new capabilities to the Hellenic Navy and will greatly strengthen Greek presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, which after the frigates’ deliveries will be much more effectively protected.

According to Naval Group, Greece will receive the first two FDI HNs in 2025 and the third in 2026.

Greece has also the option to buy and build a fourth frigate of the type.

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When will the first 30 Marder arrive in Greece?

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When will the first 30 Marder arrive in Greece?
Locals watch an German armored infantry vehicle Marder in the Norwegian town of Engerdal. NATO exercise Trident Juncture, in Norway, at November 03, 2018.Photo: SGM Marco Dorow, German Army.

According to Rheinmetall, the first 30 German Marder APCs will be ready for the exchange with the Greek BMP-1s soon enough for the latter to be sent to Ukraine.

The company’s announcement reads:

“The CEO of Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, informed the Minister of Finance (of Germany) Dr. Bernd Althusmann on the status of work on the Marder Armored Personnel Carriers for the “exchange”. About 30 Marders should be ready for delivery by September 2022.”

We remind you that the latest information talked about the start of the implementation of the agreement in July based on the meeting of the Greek and German Ministers of Defence, for which the Greek minister announced the following:

When will the first 30 Marder arrive in Greece?
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kris Bonet)

“I met German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht at the NATO Summit in Madrid. We discussed the implementation path of the Support Agreement for Ukraine with the exchange of BMP-1 Armored Fighting Vehicles with the Marder, with the aim of starting its implementation within July.”

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German Ambassador defended Greece against Turkey’s new provocation, but is it enough?

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German Ambassador defended Greece against Turkey's new provocation, but is it enough? - GEOPOLITIKI

On the occasion of Devlet Bahçeli’s extremely provocative maps that showed Aegean islands, including Kastellorizo ​​and Crete under the Turkish rule and the Greek Prime Minister’s tweet condemning this map, the German Ambassador made statement.

German Ambassador Ernst Reichel said about the map:
“Germany’s position is clear: Any questioning of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Greece is unacceptable” said the German Ambassador.

Although, whilst Reichel says these words, Germany is behind some of Turkey’s most critical military supplies such as the submarines that Turkey is receiving soon.

Turkey doesn’t buy these weapons without Germany knowing who it will use them against. Turkey will use every German weapon it has acquired in recent years against Greece and Cyprus, as it is a revisionist power that some stubbornly arm despite dozens of proof of its brutality towards its neighbors.

In short, we believe it was a nice gesture by Mr. Reichel’s side to defend Greece in his statement, but we also think that much more needs to be done to really support Greece and Cyprus in the face of Turkey’s always provocative behaviour.

Read more: New fire exchange between Armenia and Azerbaijan – GEOPOLITIKI