UK gathers warplanes, military hardware in Cyprus base near Syria – report
August 27, 2013
“Warplanes and military transporters” have reportedly been moved to Britain’s Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus in the latest sign of the allied forces’ preparations for a military strike on Syria amid bellicose rhetoric against the Syrian government.
Two commercial pilots who regularly fly from Larnaca, Cyprus, claim to have spotted C-130 transport planes from their own aircraft and small formations of possibly European fighter jets from their radar screens, according to the Guardian.
Akrotiri airbase is less than 100 miles from Syria, making it a likely hub for a bombing campaign. Residents near the airfield confirmed to the Guardian that “activity there has been much higher than normal over the past 48 hours.”
The upsurge in flight activity has been denied by a spokesman for Britain’s airbases in Cyprus, Reuters reported, also citing Cyprus’s Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides as saying that he doubted the airbases would be used if Western powers did take action against Syria.
“I have the impression that the British bases won’t play any primary role… because they are not needed, but we will have to see,” Kasoulides told Cypriot state radio.