Russia might strike a UK base in Cyprus from Syria – Klintsevich

Russia may potentially launch a strike from Syria targeting a British military base in Cyprus. This assertion was made by Andrey Klintsevich in an interview with “Tsargrad,” as reported by the Russian outlet Gazeta.ru. Klintsevich, who heads the Center for the Study of Military-Political Conflicts, shared his insights on the matter. 

Russia might strike a UK base in Cyprus from Syria - Klintsevich - Eurofighter Typhoon
Photo credit: UK MoD

According to Klintsevich, the British air base in Cyprus is approximately 200 km from Syrian territory. He hypothesized, “If a group were to accidentally strike that base and destroy several planes, there would be a significant outcry. However, the West primarily responds to force, which has been evident in recent events.” 

Klintsevich further suggested that Russia might soon begin to mirror the actions of Western countries. He pointed out that Russia could potentially start supplying advanced weaponry to adversaries of the United States and Great Britain as a form of reciprocal action.

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Not for the first time

The speculation that Russia could target the British base in Crimea has been around for a while. Back in April, the Telegraph hinted that the base could be a target for Russian space forces over Syria. Even though such a scenario might sound far-fetched, the British military presence in the eastern Mediterranean is significant, with RAF Akrotiri playing a crucial role. Some locals even believe that the base could be attacked if Russia decides to retaliate following any US-led military action in Syria.

Security at RAF Akrotiri is rather robust, featuring a double-wire perimeter fence, armed guards, and a fortified vehicle checkpoint. With the potential for punitive airstrikes increasing after April’s poison gas attack on a town near Damascus, attention has shifted toward the role RAF Akrotiri might play if conflict arises. Currently, the base houses eight Typhoon fighter jets and six Tornado fighter-bombers, all poised for action.

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What did Putin say?

Previously, President Vladimir Putin of Russia expressed a firm stance on the issue of supplying long-range weapons to Ukraine. “If anyone thinks it’s acceptable to bring such weapons into the conflict zone to target our territory,” he stated, “then why shouldn’t we have the right to deliver similar weapons to regions housing sensitive facilities of those who act against us? We will certainly consider this.” He warned that “the recent actions of the West” could “destabilize global security” and result in “serious problems.” 

Providing weapons to a conflict area is always a risky move, especially when the suppliers not only deliver the weapons but also oversee their use,” Putin stressed, hinting that Western military advisors are already active in Ukraine. “This is an extremely serious and dangerous step,” he added.

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UK’s Akrotiri base

The British military base in Cyprus is known as RAF Akrotiri. It is one of the UK’s Sovereign Base Areas on the island, retained under British sovereignty following Cyprus’s independence in 1960. RAF Akrotiri is strategically located on the southern coast of Cyprus, near the city of Limassol. Its position in the Eastern Mediterranean makes it a critical asset for the United Kingdom’s military operations in the region. 

The base serves multiple functions, including acting as a staging post for operations in the Middle East and providing support for British forces deployed in the region. It also plays a key role in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. 

Russia might strike a UK base in Cyprus from Syria - Klintsevich - 1 Eurofighter Typhoon
Photo credit: Getty Images

Various RAF aircraft are deployed at RAF Akrotiri, including Typhoon FGR4 fighter jets, often used for quick reaction alert duties and air policing missions. Additionally, the base hosts Voyager KC2/KC3 aerial refueling tankers, which extend the operational range of RAF aircraft. RAF Akrotiri also accommodates C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, essential for logistical support and troop movements.

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