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Assad Launches 2 Russian Sukhois at Cyprus to Test British Intentions

Two RAF Eurofighter Typhoons went up, but before they had a chance to engage, the two Syrian jets turned around and returned to base.
A Russian Sukhoi emerging from a cloud. Despite its old age, this Soviet-made attack plane can still inflict a lot of damage on a tiny island like Cyprus. Hence the immediate response by the RAF.

A Russian Sukhoi emerging from a cloud. Despite its old age, this Soviet-made attack plane can still inflict a lot of damage on a tiny island like Cyprus. Hence the immediate response by the RAF.
Photo Credit: airliners.net

Late Sunday night, two RAF jets were scrambled from their base in Cyprus to investigate with great haste the fact that two Syrian planes had crossed into international airspace, and were headed for Cyprus.

The Sukhoi Su-24 is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft, one of the last truly bad boys developed in the good old Soviet Union. It’s true that it can’t hold its own against today’s $60 million a pop aircraft, but in a small place like the island of Cyprus – which it can reach in under 15 minutes from Damascus, it can do a lot of damage. Hence the rapid response.

The two RAF air-defense Eurofighter Typhoons went up, but before they had a chance to engage, even politely, the two Syrian jets turned around and returned to base.

According to the Daily Mail, Turkey also responded with haste, sending two F-16s to the area. Which means this could have erupted into something unexpected. The question remains, though, why did the Syrian airforce, which we understand to still be taking its orders from President Bashar al-Assad, risk losing two fine, albeit Soviet made, fighter jets in a dogfight in which they would be ridiculously over-matched?

A spokesman for the UK Ministry of Defense said: “The MoD can confirm that Typhoon Air Defense Aircraft operated from RAF Akrotiri on Monday to investigate unidentified aircraft to the east of Cyprus; the aircraft were flying legally in international airspace and no intercept was required.”

A military source told the Mail that “Recent intelligence reports have warned of an attack on Akrotiri.”

Akrotiri is one of the UK’s largest overseas bases, with more than 1,300 personnel. It was used in the air campaign against Gaddafi’s Libya in 2011.

According to the Mail, the Typhoons only arrived in Cyprus a week ago—after the parliament had voted down the call to war of Prime Minister David Cameron—as part of what the UK is calling a “prudent and precautionary measure.”

So, while the immediate answer as to why Assad sent two jets to Cyprus would probably be, “because he can,” another, somewhat less open-ended, would be that Assad is trying to asses what he’s up against. How tight is the Western net around him? He reads, right after the good news about the thumbs down on war, that the Brits are still beefing up their air presence next door to him. So he needs to find out what gives.

You’ll notice that Assad has not been harassing either the U.S. Navy’s Sixth fleet, also at his door, or the IDF, in his backyard. I suspect this is because he wanted both his Sukhois to come home in one piece after the experiment, and the Brits are more patient than his other two neighbors.

In that context, it was heart warming to see the Turkish military eager to get into the fight. There’s no telling how Turkey would be impacted by the transformation of the Syrian civil war into a regional conflict, but it is likely to experience interesting, and not entirely negative changes.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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18 Responses to “Assad Launches 2 Russian Sukhois at Cyprus to Test British Intentions”

  1. Aianna Grace Grejaldo Madarico says:


  2. Alex Kipnis says:

    And they ran away with their tails firmly between legs

  3. I wouldn’t mess with British forces either. They may be patient but still brutal if you mess with them. He is no match with intellect or machinery.

  4. :((((((((((((((((((( big time

  5. :((((((((((((((((((( big time

  6. Mark Fulbright says:

    :((((((((((((((((((( big time

  7. Diane Kroh says:

    I will say that the British are much more polite than any other nation. However there is way that they let you know they are not playing….thank God for the British.

  8. Diane Kroh says:

    I will say that the British are much more polite than any other nation. However there is way that they let you know they are not playing….thank God for the British.

  9. Philip Geffner says:

    Diane perfect!

  10. Forget about Syria-Hit Iran before they become a nuclear threat to the whole planet -now—thank you.

  11. Gil Gilman says:

    This will give the Brits something to think about…

  12. Syria is the distraction, Iran is the target! Time to take out the very real 'weapons of mass destruction' they are intent upon developing and building.

  13. Lawrence A Dickerson says:

    It is despicable to watch the Israeli MSM use the Israeli government’s methods to solicit sympathy for her needs in a manner that is supposed to be behind a screen so as to not be seen.
    It is disheartening to watch such immature actions such as this hoping to garner support.Unfortunately for Israel the world is waking up to see a new sunrise.Hopefully Jewish historians are recording events truthfully in order to portray a bird’s eye view of truth,not as they wish it would have occurred but as it unfolded,page by page.

  14. Yechiel Baum says:

    tHIS IS aSSADS WAY OF SAYING HELLO with laughter TO Turkish portion of Cyprus and to the Greeks both of whom are anti-Israel and both of who suffer simulataneously.

  15. this call is very important, the man Assad is drank to share innocent blood, satan have set his abode in him, so watch out before is too late.

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