No one was hurt after what turned out to be a missile crashed north of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, early on Monday.
Mustafa Akinci, the Turkish Cypriot leader, linked the object to military operations in the Middle East with the main suspicions being that it could be a missile most probably fired from Syria.
The Turkish Cypriot foreign minister Kudret Ozersay said initial findings indicate the object that caused the explosion was either an aircraft carrying explosives or a direct explosive (missile). The writings and signs on the debris will allow us to understand exactly what happened soon”.
Officials were studying debris at the crash site in the Tashkent area, said Kudret Ozersay, foreign minister of Northern Cyprus, a breakaway state recognised only by Turkey.
Residents told Cypriot media they saw a light in the sky then three loud explosions were heard for miles around. Tashkent is on the foothills of a mountain range rimming Northern Cyprus, lying some 20 km northeast of Nicosia.
“Cyprus is close to Syria. Israeli warplanes fired missiles targeting Syrian military positions in Homs and the Damascus outskirts overnight in an attack that killed at least four civilians and wounded another 21.
Military experts commented in the Greek Cypriot media the debris suggested it was a Russian-made S-200 missile with some remarking that it has Russian writing on it. Syria uses Russian-made missiles.