IDF sends additional planes to assist in Cyprus firefighting efforts

Israel Air Force sends two additional firefighting & cargo aircraft to Cyprus; Netanyahu refers to Trilateral Committee and Cyprus assistance during Carmel fire in 2010

The Israeli firefighting team prior to departure for Cyprus

The IDF sent two additional planes to Cyprus Monday morning to assist in controlling the fire that broke out over the weekend. The IDF stated, “Today additional IAF [Israel Air Force] firefighting and cargo aircrafts headed to Cyprus to help extinguish fire in the Paphos region”.

Israel sent three military firefighting planes and one cargo plane to aid Cyprus on Sunday morning, Israel announcing its commitment to assist in any means possible. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also announced it would send a rescue delegation when needed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Israel’s assistance, remembering Cyprus’s assistance during Israel’s Carmel fire in 2010, as well as the Cyprus, Greece Israel Trilateral Agreement created in January. He stated “Last night I ordered that three of our firefighting aircraft, out of our fleet of 13 or 14, be sent to help them, and the planes are now in Cyprus. This is part of the regional arrangement we have made with Cyprus and Greece about emergency assistance. I am pleased that we are able to extend this assistance.”

In January, Cyprus, Israel and Greece announced the formation of a regional Trilateral Committee. The committee held its first meeting in Israel, the trilateral summit then agreeing to “strengthen the cooperation between our three countries in order to promote a trilateral partnership in different fields of common interest and to work together towards promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity in the Mediterranean and the wider region.”One of the agreements established were assistance and cooperation during natural emergencies. In April, the three nations held their first firefighting drill.