An F-18 Super Hornet taking off from the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in October of 2016 in the Persian Gulf.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – The nuclear aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower, and 12 other warships have arrived in the Mediterranean.

The planes on board the aircraft carrier will conduct exercises with the Greek Air Force, according to the news portal Newsbomb.gr.

According to news portal, the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower with a group of escort ships will enter the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal on Saturday.

The aircraft carrier will go to the area south of the Greek island of Crete, where it will hold joint exercises with the Greek Air Force.

Pairs of F-16s, which will take off from Soda Airport in Crete, as well as four F-18s from the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, will participate in the exercises.

This is the first significant U.S. military exercise since the Mediterranean crisis between Turkey and Greece began.

The Turkish Hydrographic Service in the coastal city of Antalya reported conducting oil and gas exploration studies on Tuesday, indicating that it would continue  from 21 July to 2 August, south of the Greek island of Rhodes and southeast of Crete. Ankara has announced that the research vessel Oruc Reis will be stationed in this region.

According to Greek media reports, there are already two groups of about 25 Turkish warships in the area ​​and along the Turkish coast. For this reason, the Greek Armed Forces have been on standby for several days.

According to the portal, the Greek Navy is fully deployed in the Aegean and occupies major sites to monitor any movement of Turkish ships. In turn, the Turkish armed forces use drones to track the positions of the Greek fleet.

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Turkey asserts that the Greek islands have no right to the marine escarpment and exclusive economic zones, while Greece defends the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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