The island of Cyprus was further exposed to fallout from the Syria conflict as the U.K. used its large air force base in Akrotiri to launch bombing raids against the Bashar al-Assad regime in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed four Royal Air Force Tornado warplanes accompanied U.S. and French jets in striking “Syrian installations involved in the regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people”.
Syria’s government is backed by Russia, and UN General-Secretary Antonio Guterres on Friday said the Cold War was “back with a vengeance”.
RAF Akrotiri is home to 84 Squadron and is houses a range of military aircraft including 10 Tornado fighters, nine Eurofighter Typhoons, transport craft and radar installations.
The U.K. base in Cyprus has already been used as a forward hub for operations against the ISIS terror group in Syria, but Saturday’s bombing runs against Syrian regime targets represent a significant escalation in the conflict.
The Nicosia Flight Information Region named in the Eurocontrol statement on Tuesday covers the island of Cyprus and surrounding waters.