World Bulletin / News Desk
It has been claimed that the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is fighting in Iraq and Syria against government regimes and other rival rebel groups, is now planning to establish a base in nearby Cyprus.
Greek Cypriot daily Politis claimed that the breakaway Al Qaeda splinter group ISIL was considering establishing an illegal base on the eastern Mediterranean island to counter an alleged training camp set up by Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Quoting Russia's Pravda newspaper, the ISIL is believed to be palnning to establish a number of bases in the Middle-East and the Caucasus, including in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Cyprus. However, the newspaper did not state whether the base would be in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) or the Greek Cypriot-contolled south.
According to Haberkktc, Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper also quoted Western intelligence sources when noting that Hezbollah had set up bases in Cyprus to hit Israeli targets.
Al-Rai then added that new intel had suggested that the ISIL was planning to also set up bases in Cyprus as a possible option of attack against rival Hezbollah bases.
The ISIL has been leading a hardline Sunni Muslim rebellion against the Shi'ite Muslim dominated government of Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq, capturing much of western Iraq including its second biggest city Mosul in the past week.
They have also been fighting to expand their territory into Syria, taking advantage of a three-year civil war in the country against Bashar al-Assad's regime. Iran, and particularly Lebanon's Hezbollah, have been keen supporters of the Assad regime.
Although Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian civil war on behalf of the Assad regime has seen attacks occassionally spread to Lebanon against Hezbollah targets, the ISIL, who are mainly based in northern and eastern Syria, have not been known to attack Lebanon.
Rather, the ISIL has been hostile to other Sunni opposition groups in Syria, including the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, Islamic Front, the Free Syrian Army and Syrian Turkmen brigades. They have also threatened to attack Turkey's Suleiman Shah base in Aleppo.
Turkey responded to threats by threatening airstrikes against ISIL bases in northern Syria, and have even accused the ISIL of being Assad's back-stage partner.Last Mod: 23 Haziran 2014, 14:38