BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 P.M.) – The Turkish Air Force and Navy conducted maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea this week, as they began their drills called “The Open Sea”.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced in a statement issued on Friday that the maneuvers were held in international waters in the Mediterranean, with the participation of units of the leaders of the Air Force and the Navy, and were run from operations centers in Turkey.

According to reports, 17 aircraft, eight frigates, and corvettes participated in the exercises, which lasted about eight hours and included a path of 2,000 kilometres.

During the maneuvers, refueling and joint air-maritime training and other operations were carried out, with the aim of “testing and developing the tasks of long-distance operations without interruption.”

These developments come against the backdrop of increasing tensions in the Mediterranean region in light of the military escalation in Libya, where Turkey provides military support to the Government of National Accord (GNA), one of the parties to the conflict.

Tensions also remain high over Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean drilling projects off the coast of Cyprus, despite opposition from its neighbors.

Greece has recently established a maritime demarcation agreement with Italy and soon they will have one with Egypt, as they strengthen their relationship with a number of countries to challenge Turkey’s influence in the Mediterranean.

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