NATO is investigating an incident in the Mediterranean in which France says Turkish frigates were “extremely aggressive” towards one of its naval vessels, the head of the alliance said Thursday.
The French ship, on duty as part of a NATO operation, tried to check a cargo ship on suspicion it was taking arms to Libya in breach of a UN embargo.
According to French officials, the Turkish frigates intervened and carried out radar targeting three times, suggesting a missile strike was imminent.
Fellow NATO member Turkey has dismissed the allegations as “groundless” and the alliance is now probing the matter.
“We have made sure that the NATO military authorities are investigating the incident to bring full clarity into what happened,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said after a video meeting of alliance defense ministers.
France is furious over the incident, slamming Turkey’s actions as “unacceptable by an ally”, and Defense Minister Florence Parly raised the matter during the talks with her NATO counterparts.