On June 19, Hassan Nasrallah, the powerful leader of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, warned Cyprus that if it helped Israel attack Lebanon, it would become a target.

Israel’s army says it has approved an offensive on Lebanon targeting Hezbollah, and its foreign minister has said an announcement on whether Israel will go to war is imminent.

This came after Hezbollah released footage it said was taken by one of its drones over the Israeli city of Haifa, showcasing its ability to infiltrate deep into Israeli territory, and sending an implicit threat.

So, if Israel declares war on Lebanon, what does this mean for Cyprus? Here’s all you need to know:

Would Cyprus help Israel attack Lebanon?

Cyprus has traditionally allowed Israel to use its airspace for air drills, but never during active conflict – and it doesn’t look like Cyprus will start now.

After Nasrallah’s threat, Cyprus announced that it would remain neutral and not get involved in any war.

However, the United Kingdom has bases in Cyprus, which it uses to conduct military operations in the region.

The UK allegedly used those bases to launch attacks against the Houthis in Yemen. The bases have also reportedly been used to arm Israel in its war against Gaza and south Lebanon.

“Cyprus’s declaration of neutrality can be viewed as a strategic win for Hezbollah,” said Imad Salamey, a political scientist at the Lebanese American University.

“This response  … suggests an indirect message from the EU that there is no appetite for backing an Israeli military campaign.

“It reinforces Hezbollah’s deterrent position and contributes to a broader international refrain from supporting potential Israeli military actions,” Salamey said.

What can Hezbollah do that would worry Cyprus?

For one, it could do exactly what it threatened to do: Hit Israeli targets in Cyprus.

Or at least, that’s the possibility Amal Saad, author of Hizbu’llah: Politics and Religion, described to Al Jazeera.

An attack “would … be devastating for Cyprus economically” according to Saad.

“There have – I think – been protests about this in the past from opposition politicians in Cyprus about how dangerous this policy [allowing its territory to be used in a conflict] is for its economy and security,” Saad added.

Other analysts are less convinced that Hezbollah would actually hit Cyprus due to the regional implications.

“I’m not sure what they can do honestly beyond disruption and covert operation. [Hezbollah] understands that targeting Cyprus will bring in the EU and NATO,”  said Maha Yahya, the director of Malcolm H Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, a think-tank.

Did Nasrallah say this to scare Cyprus?

Nasrallah’s fiery speech could serve a purpose, even if Hezbollah doesn’t follow through on its threats against Cyprus.

“[T]his speech is part of a psychological war and aims to send a clear message to Hezbollah’s adversaries that any Israeli attempt to widen the scope of the war and attack Lebanon would have major repercussions on all western allies of Israel – particularly regional allies,”  said Karim Emile Bitar, an associate professor of international relations at Saint Joseph University in Beirut.

Salamey added that Hezbollah’s psychological warfare could lead the EU to pressure Israel not to expand the scope of the fighting against Lebanon.

“The hesitation of Israel’s allies, as indicated by Cyprus’s stance, might lead Israel to reconsider the risks and consequences of a broader war,” Salamey said.

“This international isolation and the lack of coherent objectives for military engagement in Lebanon highlight Israel’s fragility.”

What else would Cyprus be worried about?

Even if Cyprus isn’t dragged into any conflict, a possible influx of refugees – Lebanese and Syrians in Lebanon – to its territory would be worrying to the country’s government.

In April, Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides said that he was concerned about the rise of Syrian refugees arriving to the island’s shores from Lebanon seeking asylum.

The concern over refugees is shared by the European Union, which recently announced that it would give Lebanon more than $1bn in financial assistance. Most of the funds are stipulated to go towards combating irregular migration.

Bitar, from St Joseph University, said that there is a “possibility” that Hezbollah could ease control over its external borders in order to encourage refugees to flee to Cyprus.  However, he added that the major worry for Cyprus – and the region – is that Hezbollah and Israel could spiral the region into war – even if they didn’t mean to.

“We are living in a world where emotions are running extremely high and actors – on both sides of the border – are not necessarily [acting] rational,” he said.

This is why I’m worried that both parties – even if they have not made the decision explicitly to go to war – any miscalculation could open the doors of hell.”

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