Hezbollah Threatens Cyprus Over Israel Links

Latest Developments

Hezbollah warned Cyprus on June 19 against helping Israel in any future war in Lebanon, signaling that the Mediterranean island nation could also face a terrorist attack.

Amid expectations that more than eight months of Hezbollah provocations against northern Israel could soon spiral into full-blown war, the Iran-backed terrorist organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, sharpened the threats in a televised speech.

No part of Israel would be safe from Hezbollah missiles and drones in a war, Nasrallah said, adding that the Mediterranean Sea would also become a combat zone.

“The Cypriot government must be warned that opening Cypriot airports and bases for the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon means that the Cypriot government has become part of the war and the Resistance will deal with it as part of the war,” he said during a ceremony commemorating the Hezbollah terrorist commander Taleb Abdullah, who was eliminated in an Israeli air strike on June 12.

Nasrallah did not elaborate on the alleged planned cooperation between Jerusalem and Nicosia. Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said that Nasrallah’s inflammatory comments “don’t in any way reflect what’s being attempted, which is to present a picture that Cyprus is involved in military operations.”

Christodoulides added that his country “is not part of the problem, it is part of the solution” — a reference to a maritime aid corridor running from Larnarca to Gaza .

Expert Analysis

“After a series of Iranian-orchestrated assassination plots in Cyprus were foiled, an Iranian-backed terrorist group is now directly threatening to attack an EU member state. This cannot be allowed to pass. We already have indications that Tehran has used the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus as a staging ground for such subversion. Might Ankara, whose energy and other geostrategic interests stand to gain from driving a wedge between Cyprus and Israel, have a hand in this new menace?” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Hezbollah’s belligerence towards Cyprus is not a new phenomenon. Hezbollah and Iran’s IRGC have previously targeted Israelis on Cypriot soil and been thwarted in these attempts. Cyprus has played a critical role in helping to establish a maritime corridor to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Nasrallah wants nothing more than to undermine the positive role Cyprus is playing in the region. These threats underscore the need to help Cyprus defend itself against terror threats by lifting all restrictions on weapon sales to the island nation.” — Tyler Stapleton, Director of Congressional Relations at FDD Action

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