An object that appears to be a Russian S-200 missile struck the illegally occupied Northern Cyprus early on Monday morning.
The missile landed near a village located between the Turkish Cypriot capital Lefkosa and northern Girne.
At the time, Israeli airstrikes were taking place against Syria at the time of the blast. According to Syrian state media, Syrian air defences had fired in response to the Israeli attack.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay stated on social media that “the first assessment is that a Russian-made missile which was part of the air defense system that took place last night in the face of an air strike against Syria, completed its range and fell into our country after it missed.”
Initial investigations have determined that “the explosion occurred before impact, as no pits were opened on the ground. Parts falling at several different points confirm that the missile exploded in the air before it hit,” he continued.
Ozersay added that he has spoken on the phone with Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler about the incident and a news conference will be held shortly.
Authorities evacuated homes close to the explosion site. There have been no reports of injuries.
A Greek Cypriot military analyst, Andreas Pentaras told Sigma TV in Cyprus that “an assessment from the pictures made public shows the base of its wings. It has Russian writing on it, so it suggests it is Russian made. Syria uses Russian-made missiles, so a not-so-safe assessment would be it was … an S-200 (missile),” adding that jamming technology could have led to the missile error.
This is a developing news story.