Possible Stray Missile Explodes Over North Cyprus

An explosion occurred around 1am in the Tashkent (Vouno) region around 20 kms (12 miles) north-east of Nicosia, in the foothills of the Besparmak mountain range.

The sound of the explosion, which set the hills on fire, was heard for miles around.

It is reported that the cause could have been a stray missile. Turkish official said that there were no casualties, although some homes were evacuated.

The Syrian Ministry of Defence issued a statement saying that Israeli warplanes were aiming at Syrian military position on the outskirts of Homs and Damascus fired missiles. The attack took place in Lebanese airspace. An Israeli military spokesman refrained from making a statement, saying “We do not comment on such reports.

Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay issued the following statement:

We contacted the ambassadors of the countries who were in Cyprus in the morning about the explosion that occurred yesterday evening……We will share the information with the public. The first assessments that it was a Russian-made missile, which is part of the air defence system activated in the face of an air strike against Syria, in the evening and fell on our country. It is thought that the explosion took place before the impact, as no craters were found in the ground. Parts falling in several different place confirm that the missile exploded in the air before it hit the ground. We are now in a meeting with our Corps Commander and Security Forces Commander at the Prime Ministry.

Cyprus lies close to the war-torn country of Syria. However, despite its proximity to the region, it has been verified that this is the first incident of Cyprus being affected by any foreign military action.

Kibris Postasi, Cyprus Mail, Yeni Duzen

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