RAF Cyprus base on lockdown as refugee boats wash ashore

RAF Akrotiri lock-down as migrant boats wash ashore. Credit: Reuters

Just after 8am this morning, myself and cameraman Toby Nash were waiting to go into RAF Akrotiri.

The job was to cover the British contribution to the coalition attacks on Isis in Syria and Iraq.

However the base going into lockdown signalled some form of security alert.

Emma Murphy at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

The strangest of ironies is that the lock-down was the result of at least 140 refugees, mainly from Syria, washing ashore in small boats on a beach at the base.

Many of those brought to safety were fleeing the tyranny of Isis - they reached safety as Tornados took to the skies on another anti-Isis mission.

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircaft prepare to depart RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Credit: PA

Though the British are not mandated to bomb Syria, flights leaveRAF Akrotiri regularly to fly over the country on Isis-related intelligent gathering operations.

The coalition goes in by air - those who need their help have come to them directly by sea.