Report: Israel to build “Iron Dome” air defense system in Cyprus
Israel and the Republic of Cyprus signed an agreement to build Israel’s “Iron Dome” air defense system in the south of the island against an increasing threat from Turkish drones, Greek Kathimerini reported on Friday.
The specific system was seen up close by the head of the National Guard, Lt. Gen. Dimokritos Zervaki during a visit he made to Israel last March, Kathimerini said, adding that the system was considered ideal for the needs of the Cypriot air defense as well as the threat from Turkish UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
On August 11, Cypriot Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides, met with his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz in Jerusalem. The two leaders said they discussed defense cooperation between the countries but have not disclosed any agreement concerning an air defense systems.
In 1997, Turkey threatened an all out war when Cyprus announced plans to install two Russian-made S-300 air-defence missile sites on its territory.
The Cypriot government protested against the Turkish threats at the United Nations and asserted its right for self-defense and the need for effective deterrence.
After a year-long escalating crisis, Cyprus transferred the S-300s to Greece and they were finally installed on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea.
The Iron Dome of Israel is a mobile air defense system designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells, which the country effectively used against Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza Strip.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently claimed that the interception rate of the Iron Dome peaked at 97 percent during the recent fighting with Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza saying it managed to intercept 200 projectiles in three days.