A Syrian surface-to-air missile aiming at Israeli jets is believed to have missed and landed 100 miles away in Cyprus, causing major fires in hills north of Nicosia.
The stray Russian-made s-200 missile exploded before it hit the ground, sending burning debris across a hillside in the early hours of Monday morning. Nobody was reported hurt.
It came during an attack attributed to Israeli jets, which are believed to have struck sites outside the Syrian capital Damascus and the major Syrian city of Homs. An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment.
Four civilians including a baby were reported killed, with 21 injured, following the missile strike near Damascus, according to Syria’s state news agency Sana. The outlet also claimed that Syria’s Russian-made air defence systems were engaged.
“Our air defences confronted enemy missiles launched by Israeli warplanes… towards some of our positions in Homs and in the vicinity of Damascus,” a Syrian military source was quoted as saying.
The news agency reported that the attack came from Lebanese airspace, meaning that the Israeli warplanes approached Syria via the Mediterranean Sea, near the major Russian naval facility of Tartus on the Syrian coast.
A missile fired from Homs towards the Mediterranean is believed to have caused the damage in Cyprus, which lies 65 miles away.