Tuesday, September 10th, 2013 | Posted by WorldTribune.com
UK fighters confront Syrian Su-24s in Cypriot air space
Special to WorldTribune.com
LONDON — For the first time, Syria has expanded air force operations
and confronted a NATO ally in the Mediterranean Sea.
The British Defense Ministry confirmed reports that an air confrontation
took place over the Mediterranean on Sept. 2. The ministry said unidentified
combat aircraft, later deemed Syrian, entered the air space of Cyprus, the
base of the Royal Air Force.
“The MoD can confirm that Typhoon air defense aircraft operated from RAF Akrotiri on Monday [Sept. 2] to investigate unidentified aircraft to the east of Cyprus,” the Defence Ministry said on Sept. 9.
The British media reported that at least two Syrian Air Force Su-24 fighter-bombers left Syrian air space and flew over Cyprus. The media said two British Eurofighter Typhoons were sent to pursue the Russian-origin Su-24s. No fire was reported.
This marked the first report of a NATO confrontation with Syria. The Syrian air mission took place as the United States planned for strikes on the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The British reports said another NATO ally, Turkey, responded to the
Syrian mission. They said the Turkish Air Force sent two U.S.-origin F-16
multi-role fighters from the Incirlik base in southern Turkey.
Britain has reported that its Air Force was using Cyprus to defend
against Syria. Cyprus is located about 160 kilometers from Syria, or a
flight of less than 10 minutes.
Syria has not confirmed the confrontation. But Assad warned that Syria
was prepared to retaliate against any U.S. strike.
“You should expect everything,” Assad told U.S. television on Sept. 9.http://www.worldtribune.com/2013/09/10/uk-fighters-confront-syrian-su-24s-in-cypriot-air-space/