The Sunday Express reported today that Two RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled after reports that Syrian ground attack fighters had entered Cypriot airspace.
“The incursion, later dubbed a “goad-and-probe” sortie, happened within days of six Typhoon fighters, the UK’s newest interceptor jets, arriving at RAF Atrokiri, Britain’s military base in Cyprus, in readiness for any attack by Syrian forces.
The scare also led to Turkey scrambling two F-16 fighters from its base in Incirlik after radar detected “suspicious flights” over Northern Cyprus’s eastern coast.
Last night the Ministry of Defence confirmed the deployment of two Typhoons after the unidentified fighter jets, thought to be Russian-made Sukhoi Su-24s, were spotted but said they did not leave international airspace before flying away.
However, Cypriot newspapers cited reports by local air traffic control sources that the Syrian air force jets had been observed flying over the city of Famagusta well within North Cypriot airspace.
Last night one senior RAF source said: “As the delivery of six Typhoons would suggest, Atrokiri is on high readiness in case of any Syrian incursion.
It seems that this incident may have been a case of a ‘goad-and-probe’ sortie by a Syrian air force acting more brazenly than ever after recent inaction by the West.”
While all British activities within Syria were suspended after Parliament failed to support David Cameron’s vote for intervention, the UK is still involved in “non-kinetic” operations.
These are focused on electronic counter measures, monitoring Syrian air force movements and communication intercepts gathered at the British top-secret “Pluto” signals base on Mount Olympus.”