Israel sends air tankers to Cyprus to assist with outbreak of wildfires

Israeli air tankers Cyprus

Above: three Israeli single engine air tankers have arrived in Cyprus to assist firefighters. Photo by Israel Foreign Ministry.

The government of Israel sent three single engine air tankers (SEATs) and a support aircraft to assist Cyprus in suppressing large fires near Paphos and Evrychou. Cyprus has also asked Greece for assistance.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said at his Sunday Cabinet meeting:

Several years ago, during the massive [2010] Carmel fire, I contacted the President of Cyprus, he was the first I turned to, and the Prime Minister of Greece, that they should send firefighting aircraft. They had one such aircraft. They took it out of its hangar and sent it here. 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.

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