Dog fights between Russian and US fighter jets in Cyprus’ Flight Information Region (FIR) have raised heightened concerns.
There are currently positioned in the wider region two aircraft carriers, a Russian one to the east of Cyprus and an American one south of Cyprus, both within the Nicosia FIR, while there is also a Russian base on Syrian territory.
The Russian aircraft carrier has filled the Cyprus FIR, mainly with Su-33 and MiG fighter jets.
The US fighter jets are mainly F-15s and F-18s.
In many incidents there has been talk fire, reminiscent of Cold War situations.
In certain instances, US and Russian fighter jets are flying at relatively close proximity and at the same altitude. In those cases, there are between 15-18 fighter jets flying in the nearly the same region and at the same altitude.
Although these are areas with relatively limited civil aviation aircraft traffic, the incidents result in serious complications for Cyprus, as a national security source monitoring the situation told the Cyprus daily Fileleftheros.
An American official noted that after the neutralisation of the Islamic State, the theatre of operations is very limited and fuzzy, and as a result the area has become congested with aircraft and ships.
Experts believe there is a serious danger of a clash and a US-Russia conflict.
In many cases, the fighter jets are flying without providing flight recognition information, but they appear on Cypriot radars.
It should be noted that the Israel-Cyprus search-and-rescue exercise “Onisilos” is underway, along with the accumulation of many aircraft and ships in the area.