Cypriot defense officials rushed to clarify low flights over the island on Monday after alarmed residents sought answers online, with the activity taking place while NATO is also testing readiness of the western alliance.
Residents in the Republic of Cyprus were concerned on Monday after planes were seen and heard flying low over rural areas west of the capital and other parts of the island.
Defense Ministry spokesperson Andreas Stylianou told Kathimerini Cyprus that the low flights were part of an annual collaboration program with friendly nations.
Stylianou did not name the country that was taking part in the flights over rural Nicosia on Monday but said the activity would also continue on Tuesday.
Additional reports said Dynamic Mariner, a NATO-led crisis-response exercise, was being held amongst a dozen allies in the region, testing their ability to work together with the drill running September 11 through 22.
The exercise involves around 1500 personnel and marines from the United States, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain.
Kathimerini reported that ground forces as well as transport and fighter aircraft from Cyprus and one other friendly nation were taking part in this week’s exercise over Cyprus.