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Cyprus purchases Iron Dome air defenses – media

Local media reports that Nicosia reached a deal to purchase defenses for shooting down Turkish drones from Tel Aviv.

According to a Kathimerini local news outlet, the Cypriot Defense Ministry and Israel have reached a deal for Iron Dome anti-aircraft defense systems. The newspaper reported that the two sides had reached an agreement, though neither Tel Aviv nor Nicosia have publicly confirmed the same.

The Iron Dome capability was reportedly evaluated by Lieutenant General Dimokritos Zirvakis, Commander of the Cypriot National Guard, while he visited Israel in March. “During his visit to Israel, the general will receive a briefing at the northern border and will visit an Iron Dome air-defense system battery,”In a statement, the Israel Defense Force stated that they were aware of it.

Reports in Israeli and Greek media had suggested earlier that talks on the agreement were ongoing at least from early 2021.

The US-made SHORAD short range air defence systems (SHORAD), currently exist in Cyprus. They were made by Northrop Grumman Corporation. Reports in media suggest that Nicosia continues to consider them “best fit”To counter those threats, it has developed a strategy. The Cypriot air defence forces are becoming more concerned about Turkish-made drones.

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Kathimerini said that the Cypriot National Guard insisted on purchasing the Israeli air defence systems. “operational demands.” Israel’s Rafael arms manufacturer advertises the Iron Dome as a “combat-proven”System with “over 2,000 interceptions”.It’s capable of “effectively”Countering mortar, artillery and rocket fire as well as “aircraft, helicopters and UAVs at very short range,”According to the company, this refers in particular the unmanned aircraft vehicles (e.g drones).

Turkey was accused by Cyprus and Greece of provoking tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean late July, as Ankara prepared to dispatch a drilling ship to that area in search of natural gas. Athens and Ankara are divided on Cyprus’ ethnicity between Turkish Cypriots or Greek Cypriots.

After a short Greek-inspired coup, Turkey invaded the northern region of the island in 1974. This caused the nation to be divided. The Turkish Republic is Northern Cyprus’ northern region, in which the Turkish forces remain active, has been called the Turkish Republic. The international community considers Northern Cyprus to be part of Republic of Cyprus, and Ankara is the only one that recognizes it as independent.

These developments come days after Turkey and Israel declared normalization of relations and complete restoration of diplomatic relations. Their ambassadors had returned from Ankara and Tel Aviv following years of tensions. Uncertain whether the reported arms deal between Cyprus and Israel would have an impact on Turkey’s relations with Israel. Ankara is yet to comment.

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