The stray Russian missile – allegedly launched by the Syrian government – hit the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus in error last night. The surface-to-air projectile was launched in response to Israeli airstrikes on Syria that killed or injured dozens of civilians. No casualties were reported in Cyprus – but experts have said the powerful missile could cause significant damage if strikes its targets.
As a result, fears have arisen over the archaic but effective weapon, which could potentially take out Turkish targets from its Syrian base.
Soviet engineers began to develop the S-200 missile in the 1950s in order to combat US aircraft such as the B-58 supersonic bomber and the U2 spy plane during the Cold War.
It reached its peak deployment in 1985, where 2030 launchers were placed in the Soviet Union, each with an operational capability of 300km.
More worryingly for Russia and Syria’s enemies, it is a nuclear-capable weapon – meaning it can carry the deadly warheads.
Assad has kept Russia's S200 sites active in Syria (Image: GETTY)
Iran also has S200 missiles (Image: GETTY)
The ‘Dubna’ model – the latest version – can fire up to 40km in the air, more than enough to take out the majority of aircraft.
With a kill ratio of up to