Greeks are surely flattered by US President Obama hosting Greek Independence Day celebration at the White House. Not only that, he also called Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and “noted Greece’s geostrategic position in the Mediterranean. They also discussed the decisions that need to be adopted by the international community to face the crisis in Libya” Greek government spokesman Yiorgos Petalotis said (ANA).
Quite some Greek media report about a possible upgrade of the role of Greece in terms of NATO operations against Libya whether in the context of Odyssey Dawn, of Unified Protectors or even United Democracy Projectors -call it what you want.
While there is no official information from the Greek side about what is going on at the Souda or Araxos military bases where allied aircraft are stationed, on the ‘inofficial’, off the record basis, there are reports that more than 30 air fighters are currently stationed at the two military bases and that 40 more requests have been submitted to Greece. There are claims that the USA has submitted requests for ‘dozens’ of aircraft and it seems that there will be operations will intensify by upcoming Monday.
Apparently 4o percent of the No Fly Zone missions are served by the aircraft stationed in Greece.
Last night four Mirage 2000 from Qatar landed at Souda air base. The total number of Qatari Mirage at SOud ais six. On Friday, two Qatari Mirage and two French Mirage armed with air-to-air missiles took off for patrolling missions in Libya. It was the first time Arab fighters participated on missions against another Arab state.
Tomorrow Souda base is awaiting 12 planes ( 6 F-16 and 6 Mirage) from United Arab Emirates for refuelling. They will make a short stopover at Souda and will continue flight to be stationed at an Italian military base.
According to ANT1 TV all Arab aircraft are carrying air-to-air missiles, i.e. they will be patrolling only the implementation of the No Fly Zone and will participate in bombing Libyan soil.
In addition to the air bases of Souda, Araxos and Aktion, Greek government is considering to make available the air bases of Tanagra (Beoetia), Kasteli (Crete) and even Elefsina as well, as the allies submit more and more requests for airplanes.
See our Articles on Greece – Libya – Turkey – Souda