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19 June, 2024
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Cypriot activists to protest against strikes in Syria

Left-leaning groups call protesters to gather Monday outside US Embassy in Nicosia


An anti-war demonstration is scheduled to take place Monday evening outside the US Embassy in Nicosia, organised by the Cyprus Peace Council which is opposing military strikes against Syria.

The Cyprus Peace Council (CPC), a left-leaning group which has been calling for the bloodshed in Syria to stop, issued an open call to anyone who shares their hands-off-Syria view to show up outside the US Embassy in Nicosia at 6pm.

“We express our practical solidarity and support with the suffering people of Syria who are experiencing war, death, the uprooting of masses of people, subject to pain and bloodshed on a daily basis,” CPC said in a statement online.

"the government probably takes the side of those who believe military power supersedes international justice”

The demonstration is seen as a next step to a Sunday protest outside RAF Akrotiri, where four British Tornado fighter jets took off the previous day to take part in a missile strike against suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria.

The Sunday protest had been organised by KKE Cyprus, the Cypriot branch of the Greek Communist Party, and saw about 350 activists gathering in front of the entrance gate of RAF Akrotiri air base to denounce US-led airstrikes.

The protesters, who used red paint to write "NATO killers go home" on a nearby wall outside the base's gate, delivered a message against Cyprus government lending any assistance to “imperialist attacks” on Syria.

The Monday protest is expected to focus on demanding that Cyprus not allow NATO allies to take part in military strikes using the island as a base.

Akel criticises government on bases

Akel party MP Aristos Damianou issued a statement on Monday, criticising the government and President Nicos Anastasiades for not being forthcoming with the public on the Syrian attack.

“When the opposition poses a question, the government has an obligation to respond,” Damianou said, pointing to what he described as a failure on the part of Anastasiades to reveal what he had told UK Prime Minister Theresa May regarding the use of British bases as a launching pad for attacks.

“If we get no answer - and judging from the unfortunate statements made yesterday from the government camp that basically bases are military installations and can do whatever they want – we can infer that not only did Mr Anastasiades not say anything to Mrs May, but quite on the contrary, the government probably takes the side of those who believe military power supersedes international justice.”

On Saturday early morning, the United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago, targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development centre in Damascus’ Barzeh district and two installations near Homs.

The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his superpower ally Russia, but the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

The air attack, denounced by Damascus and its allies as an illegal act of aggression, was unlikely to alter the course of a multisided war that has killed at least half a million people.

Cyprus  |  Syria  |  peace  |  anti-war  |  protest  |  US Embassy  |  Nicosia

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