Cyprus ready to accommodate US army unit in emergency

Cyprus ready to accommodate US army unit in emergency

Nicosia said the Republic of Cyprus accepted a request from Washington regarding the arrival of an American Rapid Deployment Forces unit in case of an emergency, amid rising tension in the region following the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq last weel.

An official statement said the Cypriot government gave its consent for the temporary stationing of a rapid response unit, which would be tasked with a mission to evacuate US diplomatic personnel and US citizens, should the need arise.

The Cyprus News Agency later cited a source saying the US request did not have anything to do with using the island as a launching pad for "military operations."

State-funded broadcaster RIK News aired Thursday morning video footage of a C130 airplane and 5 or 6 Chinook helicopters over Paphos, saying the aircraft landed and were on stand-by at Andreas Papandreou AFB, an active air base adjacent to Paphos International Airport.

[Kathimerini Cyprus]