A British Royal Airforce (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoon lands Aug. 29 at the Akrotiri British RAF airbase near Limassol in the east Mediterranean. Britain dispatched six Typhoon fighter jets to its Akrotiri base on Cyprus as a 'protective measure', although the defense ministry said the planes will not take part in any direct military action. (Yiannis Kourtoglou / AFP)
LONDON — Britain has sent six RAF Typhoon jets to its Akrotiri base in Cyprus in a move to protect British interests as tensions grow over Syria, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday.
The jets will not take part in any direct military action, the ministry said, as the British parliament debates a government motion on a possible response to the chemical attack near Damascus last week.
“This is purely a prudent and precautionary measure to ensure the protection of UK interests and the defense of our Sovereign Base Areas at a time of heightened tension in the wider region,” the ministry said.
“They are not deploying to take part in any military action against Syria.”
British Forces Cyprus confirmed that the six jets had arrived at the Akrotiri base.
“There are Typhoons on the ground at Akrotiri,” a BFC spokesman told AFP.
British Prime Minister David Cameron was Thursday facing an uphill struggle to secure parliament’s approval for military intervention in Syria after the main opposition party said it would vote against the motion.