Cyprus is not in a war zone nor in the middle of the Syrian crisis, said Defence Minister Savvas Angelides, adding that the projectile that crashed in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus on Sunday, was an isolated incident.
A projectile, believed to be a rocket, crashed a little after midnight on Sunday near the Turkish occupied village Vouno. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The occupied areas are not under the control of the Republic.
Speaking to reporters in Larnaca training camp KEN where new recruits started to check in, Angelides said that “we all need to convey the message that Cyprus is not in a warzone nor in the middle of the war that has tragic consequences to our neighbouring country (meaning Syria) ”.
This, he added, was an “unfortunate isolated incident that cannot change the way the National Guard operates”, adding the Force has all the necessary systems to protect the island when and if needed.
The government, he said, is in contact with neighbouring friendly countries and “is collecting and evaluating information about the projectile” since the area where it crashed is not under the control of the Republic, and after examining the information, will come to conclusions.
He urged reporters to show patience adding there is no cause for concern.
Asked if Cyprus is in a position to react if a similar incident occurs in the future, the Minister said “I want to clarify that the Republic of Cyprus maintains interception systems that can locate and intercept such missiles” adding however that Cyprus is not a country under attack therefore these systems are not on standby.