At the moment there is quite some confusion concerning Greece’s involvement to the military operations against Libya. The confusion refers to whether military bases on Greek soil are used as take off points for direct bombardments in Libya or only as ‘intermediate points ‘ (refuelling) of the coalition fighter jets. Lack of official announcements on the issue leave the door open for misinterpretation and possibilities of misinformation. We have also to differentiate between the active participation of Greece in the Odyssey Dawn and the facilitation Greece gives to coalition forces.
For example yesterday it was reported that “France asked permission to land six Mirage 2000 that were due to come from Qatar.” Today state NET TV reported that 6 Qatari Mirage 2000 will join the Odyssey Dawn operation against Libya. The Mirage will land at Souda Bay Air base only for refuelling.
Also yesterday there were reports that “Hundreds” of coalition fighter jets would land at Greek military bases. I would interpret “Hundrets” as at least 500. This is a H-U-G-E buildup against Libya, right? At the same time when I read about the contributions of several countries I read about just 6 F-16 from here and 6 F-16 from there. Today, Greek media report of “dozens’ of aircraft that are expected to land at Greek bases….
Latest information via NET TV have it that USA, UK and Belgium have requested permissions for fighter jets, troop transfer aircraft and helicopters.
As far as I can confirm, currently the coalition fighter jets are just getting refueled on Greek bases.
Greek frigate “Limnos” is sailing between Crete and Libya, while a second frigate “Themistoklis” is on stand by.
All we have to do is to wait for the operational planning of NATO to be announced. Today NATO member diplomatic representations are expected to conclude their planning by early evening. Greek state TV reported some 15 minutes ago that the NATO has approved its operational planning. Let’s see that our fellow Greek-American Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander and Commander, US European Command, will decide about.
As I said above, as far as there are no official announcements the information are not confirmed, but just leaked to the press…
Read our Gree- Libya articles in Keep Talking Greece