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Cyprus

Protest held at Akrotiri over Syria, Akel accuses government of endorsing air strikes

Photo: CNA

A branch of the Greek communist party (KKE) on Sunday held a demonstration outside the British base at Akrotiri from where air strikes were launched against Syrian government targets early Saturday.

The protesters carried placards with slogans such as ‘Nato killers go home’ among a sea of party flags. A message read out by a KKE representative in Cyprus said it was a lie by the government that it was no involved in the US-UK-France air strikes.

“The Anastasiades government once again participates, even actively, by facilitating the imperialists,” the statement said.

“The Cypriot government has great responsibility because it drags this country and its people even deeper into this carnage that wants to put the wealth of our region in their hands, and supports without any shame the choices of the European imperialists.”

All foreign military bases in other countries needed to be closed down, it said, adding that the negative consequences of a war on Syria by the West would be unpredictable both for the peoples of the region as well as for the whole world. “It will cost even more human lives, increase even more the waves of refugees and uproot more people, for whom imperialist governments and organisations cry crocodile tears,” the statement added.

The ended peacefully under the discreet monitoring by British base police.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May only informed President Nicos Anastasiades just after midday on Saturday about the air strikes on Syrian targets, hours after Akrotiri had been used to launch the attack.

Four Royal Air Force Tornado jets from the Akrotiri base in Cyprus fired Storm Shadow missiles during the early hours of Saturday at a military facility near Homs where it was assessed that Syria had stockpiled chemicals, Britain’s ministry of defence said.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Cyprus did not have any participation in the operation. Cyprus airspace was not used “with the exception of what is always the case in the British bases, which are not under the control of the Cypriot government,” he said.

Main opposition Akel said on Sunday that it had asked the government what its position was and what Anastasiades had told the British prime minister when they spoke.

“Although we did not receive any response, judging from the unfortunate statements made yesterday by the government camp, that because the bases are military, they are entitled to do what they want, we conclude that not only did Mr Anastasiades say nothing to May, but on the contrary, the government endorsed those who believe that military might prevails over international law and ethics,” the party said.

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