(Kobi Richter/TPS)
Iron Dome

The air defense batteries will be used against the threat of Turkish drones.

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

Cyprus has struck a deal to buy Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, a Greek newspaper reported over the weekend.

Both Israeli and Cypriot defense officials have signed off on the purchase, the Kathimerini newspaper reported, without expanding on how many batteries were sold and for how much.

The Israeli Defense Ministry did not reply to requests for comment about the reported deal.

The Cypriot National Guard is keen to acquire the Iron Dome, the report said, because of its range and the fact that it can counter Turkish drones.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi hosted the Cypriot National Guard chief, Lt. Gen. Demokritos Zervakis, in early March. During the visit, the Cypriot general toured visited an Iron Dome battery.

Last week, Defense Minister Benny Gantz hosted his Cypriot counterpart, Charalambos Petrides, at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv.

In June, Cyprus signed a defense export agreement with Israel for personal protective equipment systems as well as tactical equipment for the Cypriot National Guard.

“The defense cooperation between Cyprus and Israel continues to grow and extend,” Petrides said at the time. “We are proud that this cooperation is in tandem with our excellent bilateral relations and reflect how neighboring countries should work for promoting peace and stability.”

“The Republic of Cyprus and the State of Israel maintain identical views and positions on the security of the Eastern Mediterranean based on international law,” Petrides added.

“The relations between our two countries extend beyond common interests and we shall work to further strengthen, expand and deepen our defense cooperation. We are delighted to have established a long-term, strategic partnership with the state of Israel in defense. It is mutually beneficial cooperation that fosters regional stability, security and prosperity.”

A month earlier, the Israel Defense Forces conducted a joint drill with Cypriot National Guard forces simulating war in Lebanon. At the time, Gantz said the drill “illustrates the strength of the strategic alliance” between the two regional allies.