Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Britain is going to let France use its RAF base, RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus for bombing raids against Islamic State in Syria.

RAF Akrotiri is a large Royal Air Force station. It is located in the Western Sovereign Base Area, one of two areas which comprise Akrotiri and Dhekelia, a British Overseas Territory, administered as a Sovereign Base Area. It is one of the few full-scale RAF stations left outside the United Kingdom.

Akrotiri has played a crucial role during Britain’s recent operations in the Middle East. During both major campaigns against Iraq, in 1991 and 2003, and also during the no-fly zone operations between, it operated as a staging post for British forces en route to the region.

A constant problem of airfields located outside the territory of the country whose forces are based there is that of overflight rights. The UK has a treaty with Cyprus that guarantees British access to Akrotiri in any circumstances. Under the treaty, the stations employ many locals and contribute to the local economy.

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geoffrey roach

Good .are we getting it together at last?

David Anthony Simpson

Good move.

Campbell Brand

Why would they? Far better staying where they are flying from Jordan as its a lot closer to their targets.

James Gale

True but they cannot control the security. RAF Akrotiri is under HM defence and therefore will fall under the same best practice as French security.

Kenneth Heselwood

Entente Cordiale

Kent Reynolds

I’d rather fly the 100km over protected ocean than over rebel & regime airspace to hit ISIS, at least as an option.

Jason Ruddick

Excellent move gives the french extra options

UK Defence Journal

And safer

James Brown

Paul Dewan Emma Dewan …. Bit more late night traffic to keep you awake ?

Albert Yome

They can deploy from Gibraltar too.

Jonathan Wightman

A handy location for the French forces even if the British forces can’t use it. I am sure they will be made very welcome.

SJ

We, UK, are already using our air base in Akrotiri to attack ISIS in Iraq. Your comment is incorrect.

John Seddon

Daesh (ISIS) and every other tom dick and harry terrorist will target Cyprus next, you bet. it’s a soft target. easy to get to from N Africa. How good is the defence of UK installations in Cyprus? ISIS attacking beaches in Tunisia, soft tourist targets; Cyprus and other Greek islands are so close. I would move a couple of Brigades ( ~10k) of combat ready marines (not RAF Regiment) to Cyprus. A good launch point for tackling ISIS in N. Africa. UK Gov’t is moving too slow on engagement with our NATO allies.

Andrew 'Taz' Tarrant

It’s the least we can do (it’s the only thing we can do!)

John Mepham

good idea..

David Flandry

The Sovereign Base Areas Have 2 battalions of British troops for security. You can bet that the SAS and SBS have examined the areas for security vulnerabilities.