Alarm Bells in Turkey as US Starts Military Drills in Neighbouring Greece?

US-Turkey War of Words continues as bilateral relations between “once strong allies” is at its lowest. Turkey continues to defy the US and Washington in-turn is planning to boost the numbers of troops in neighbouring Greece, for greater intelligence and to pressurize Turkey, besides other conflict-hit nations.

Tensions between Turkey and the US have been at its peak since Donald Trump approved the doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkish exports after Turkey refused to release detained US Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey imprisoned Andrew Brunson two years ago for his alleged role to the movement founded by Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara has blamed for choreographing the 2016 failed military coup in Turkey. Later in July, Brunson was released from the prison and placed under house arrest.

According to Stars and Stripes, the US military has already “taken advantage” of several bases in Greece, including Naval Support Activity in Souda Bay and Greece’s Larissa Air Force Base.

“We have taken advantage of Souda Bay — it’s a significant piece of infrastructure here in the region, and Greece has also been open to expanding military training drills for our forces that are stationed in Europe, in particular for U.S. Army units to do training with helicopters,” Dunford said. “If you look at geography and you look at current operations in Libya and Syria, you look at potential operations in the eastern Mediterranean, the opportunities here in Greece are pretty significant,” he added. 

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