Cyprus-based RAF jets deployed against Russian air force
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 05 September 2020 3:58 PM
Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter jets based in Cyprus are conducting surveillance and countering missions against the Russian air force – and other military assets – over the Black Sea region.
According to Sky News, the Cyprus-based fighter jets are ostensibly tasked with countering the terrorist group Daesh, but they are now being diverted to counter Russia instead.
Quoting a "military" source, Sky News says RAF Typhoons, supported by a Voyager refueling tanker aircraft, were deployed on Friday (September 04) to conduct surveillance on a Russian military exercise in the Black Sea.
The RAF Typhoons were reportedly operating with "a number" of US B52 bombers which flew from an airbase in the UK where they are stationed.
All the UK and US aircraft involved reportedly flew over eastern Ukraine and along the Sea of Azov coastline.
A spokesperson for the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) made the following statement: "We can confirm RAF Typhoons have been operating in the Black Sea region.
"The sortie demonstrates the UK's ability to support ongoing cooperation with allies and partners in the region which deepens relationships and regional security".
For its part, Russia claims it scrambled eight fighter jets to intercept three US B-52 strategic bombers flying over the Black Sea region.
The RAF Typhoon and Voyager aircraft are deployed in RAF Akrotiri – a British air base in southern Cyprus - as part of Operation Shader, the name of the UK contribution to a US-led coalition ostensibly countering Daesh penetration in Syria and Iraq.
But the use of these assets against the Russian military – albeit in a surveillance capacity – raises fresh concerns about the offensive role of RAF Akrotiri and its potential threat to international peace and security.
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