The Turkish research vessel Barbaros sailed on Wednesday from the port of Tasucu, where it was located and headed to the Cypriot EEZ, following an illegal Navtex issued by Turkey.

According to the Cypriot press, Barbaros intends to conduct seismic surveys in the south and east of Cyprus. The MarineTraffic ship tracking system confirms the research vessel’s movement, which is currently heading towards the sea area east of Famagusta.

Based on the illegal Navtex, Barbaros may remain in the area until September 18, conducting surveys in areas of eastern blocks 2 and 3 in the Cypriot EEZ.

A State Department spokesman described the Turkish actions as provocative steps escalating tensions in the region and called on Turkey to immediately suspend operations within the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).