Amid tensions, the UK is sending a flurry of military aircraft to Lebanon

Last Updated on July 8, 2024 9:52 am

The Middle Eastern country of Lebanon is in extreme tension with Israel, the occupier, over the ongoing war in Gaza. A war can break out between the two countries at any time. In such a tense situation, the United Kingdom has sent a group of warplanes to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The website Declassified UK, which monitors the activities of the UK military and intelligence agencies, stated this in a report.

According to the website, the UK has sent more than 80 military transport planes to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, after the bombing of Gaza began.

All flights depart from Cyprus. A few weeks ago, the Middle East situation heated up around Cyprus. Israel said they would attack Lebanon from Cyprus. Lebanese resistance fighters then threatened to attack Cyprus.

The British Air Force has a base in Akrotiri, Cyprus. It is only 150 miles from Beirut, a 45 minute flight. The UK has been sending military aircraft to Lebanon since the start of the Israeli invasion of Gaza last October.

Last April, the country sent 25 warplanes to Beirut. The UK also sent the same number of fighter jets in May. Declassified UK also reported sending at least 14 warplanes in June. In all, the UK has sent 84 warplanes to Beirut since October.

The reason for Britain’s sudden deployment of warplanes to Lebanon is still unclear. A defense source told Declassified that the primary purpose of sending these aircraft was to facilitate senior military engagements. However, a spokesman for the British Ministry of Defense said that the UK is committed to supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces and ensuring the security of the country.

But the UK is showing extra secrecy over sending fighter jets. Two British Royal Air Force planes landed in Israel a few weeks ago. Almost all RAF aircraft flying over Lebanon are Voyager Casey Mark 2s.

This series of aircraft is capable of carrying up to 45 tons of equipment and 291 military personnel. They are also used for air to air refueling. The list also includes the C-17 cargo plane.

Despite gaining independence from Britain in 1960, the UK maintains two sovereign bases in Cyprus. These two bases are used as military and intelligence hubs for the United Kingdom and the United States. Earlier, WikiLeaks reported that the US U-2 spy plane flying from the Akrotiri base collected intelligence in Lebanon. The British Air Force has been seen in a similar role since October.

Only one UK flight left Akrotiri in Cyprus four months before October 2023. Only 5 flights landed in Lebanon over the next few months. However, in February of this year, the United Kingdom began sending fighter jets at an eye-watering rate.

With the number of flights sent so far, it is possible to send more than 23 thousand British troops to Lebanon.

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