Tue, Jul 02, 2019 - Page 6 News List

Missile from Syria-Israel clash lands on Cyprus

Reuters, NICOSIA

Turkish soldiers and police yesterday guard an area outside of the village of Tashkent in the Turkish-Cypriot part of Cyprus after a pre-dawn explosion.

Photo: AP

An object which hit northern Cyprus overnight appears to have been a Russian-made missile, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay said yesterday.

“The first assessment is that a Russian-made missile, part of the air defense system, which was part of the air defense system that took place last night in the face of an air strike against Syria, completed its range and fell into our country after it missed,” Ozersay said in a social media post.

The object skimmed the capital, Nicosia, and crashed on a mountainside about 1am.

Ozersay said the explosion was thought to have occurred before impact, because there were no craters, however, the impact set hills ablaze and was heard for kilometers. There were no casualties.

An Israeli air strike was underway against Syria at the time.

Syrian state media said the Syrian air defenses had fired in response to the Israeli attack.

Israeli warplanes fired missiles targeting Syrian military positions in Homs — about 310km from Nicosia — and the Damascus outskirts overnight in an attack that killed at least four civilians and wounded another 21.

A Greek Cypriot military analyst, Andreas Pentaras, said the debris suggested it was a Russian-made S-200 missile, which can have a range of up to 400km.

“An assessment from the pictures made public shows the base of its wings. It has Russian writing on it, so it suggests it is Russian made. Syria uses Russian-made missiles, so a not-so-safe assessment would be it was ... an S-200 [missile],” the retired army general told Sigma TV in Cyprus.

Jamming technology could have diverted the missile, he said.

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