As the Greek military fortifies to deal with Turkish incursion into what Athens claims are territorial waters near Cyprus to drill for oil and gas, along with a Turkish flotilla of naval escorts, the coming conflict in the Mediterranean between old Crimean War belligerents continues to heat up.
There have also been border tensions between NATO allies Turkey and Greece, where uncontrolled illegal migration from North Africa into the EU has exacerbated the situation, enabled by the northern tier Europeans.
Turkey rejected Greece’s argument that its energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean encroaches on Greek territory, suggesting tensions in the region will remain high, wrote Bloomberg in July.
In addition, a large Russian flotilla has assembled off the Syrian coast, reported Zero Hedge.
According to the online publication, “experts are seriously concerned about the presence of at least 15 Russian warships and submarines off the coast of Syria. This is the first time such a large military formation has been seen here, which raises suspicions about whether Russia plans to engage in a military special operation against jihadists using the navy.
Last week Turkey held naval ‘live fire exercises in the region, after France and other European nations threatened sanctions against Ankara for its activities near Cyprus.
Turkey and Russia are also at odds in Syria, and Libya, for territorial control and access to oil fields in the area. Russia fears Turkey may annex parts of Syria it ruled during the Ottoman Empire.
In any event, Turkish President Recep Erdogan looks to expand Turkish influence in the Mediterranean and on the world stage, while his friend to the north, Russian President Vladimir Putin, tries to do the same in the same sandbox.