Hezbollah leader threatens Cyprus in case of war with Israel

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The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened Cyprus for the first time on Wednesday, warning it would consider the island nation “part of the war” with Israel if it opened its airports to Israel.

It is believed that Nasrallah’s mention of Cyprus’ “airports and bases” concerned the RAF Akrotiri, a permanent military base that supports ongoing operations in the region, including Israel, as well as support for the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) in Cyprus.

In a televised address, Nasrallah said his Iran-backed group would fight with “no rules” and “no ceilings” in case a broader war with Israel erupted, and that nowhere in Israel would be safe from Hezbollah’s attacks.

The threat included possible targets in the Mediterranean Sea such as Cyprus.

“Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war, and the resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” Nasrallah warned.

“The enemy wants to intimidate us, but they are the ones who should be afraid.”

Cyprus-President-Nikos-Christodoulides.-Photo-Ekathimerini.jpg
Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides. Photo: Ekathimerini.

In response to Nasrallah, President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides said the island nation “is in no way involved” in any military operations in the region or elsewhere.

Christodoulides stressed Cyprus’ role as a humanitarian facilitator, “which is recognised globally and particularly in the Arab world” through initiatives such as the Cyprus-Gaza maritime corridor delivering humanitarian aid by ship to the Gaza Strip.

“Our humanitarian corridor is a testament to our commitment to peace and stability,” he said. “Cyprus is not part of the problem, it is part of the solution.”

The Cypriot President said there were avenues of communication with both Lebanon and Iran “through diplomatic means.”

So far, the cross-border violence between Israel and Hezbollah has killed at least 478 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally. Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country’s north.

Source: Cyprus Mail and The Australian.

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