Turkey says it is extending a gas exploration mission in the disputed Eastern Mediterranean in a move likely to further escalate tensions in the region. Al Jazeera reports that Ankara had withdrawn the Oruc Reis research vessel last month to “allow for diplomacy” before an EU summit at which Cyprus sought sanctions against Turkey, but sent it back this month, prompting an angry rebuke from Greece, France and Germany. Two other vessels, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, along with Oruc Reis, will also work in an area southeast of the Greek island of Rhodes, according to the announcement.