A missile struck Cyprus early Monday morning, crashing near the island nation’s capital, Nicosia. The explosion occurred around 1 am in the region of Tashkent, about 12 miles northeast of Nicosia. There were no reported casualties.
The missile explosion occurred around the same time as an intense Israeli airstrike was underway in Syria. Israel fired on targets in the Syrian cities of Damascus and Homs, killing at least four civilians and wounding 21 more. The attacks were approximately 193 miles away from Nicosia.
Kudret Ozersay, the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister determined the missile was most likely a Syrian one that was fired at the Israeli warplanes in defense. “It is understood that a missile fired from Syria fell here by accident, as a result of being fired in an uncontrolled way by batteries … in response to the intense attacks yesterday evening by Israel,” Ozersay said at a news conference.
Ozersay went on to identify the missile, “Based on our initial assessment, it is the remains of a missile which is known as S-200 in the Russian system and SA-5 in the NATO system.” The S-200 is a surface-to-air missile which is said to have a range of up to 249 miles.
Despite being only 120 miles off the coast of Syria, this is the first time any sort of military operation in the region has spilled over into Cyprus.