Wednesday, September 4, 2013

US, Israel Carry out Joint Missile Exercise - or Did They?

by Rick Moran

Originally, the US Navy said that there were no missile launches by US ships in the Med, but the IDF later confirmed that it was a joint test of the Arrow II missile defense system.


Israel and the U.S. carried out a missile test in the Mediterranean sea on Tuesday, Israel's Defense Ministry said in a statement, amid rising tensions in the region over the crisis in Syria.
The confirmation came after morning reports indicated that Russia had detected two ballistic "objects" launched toward the eastern Mediterranean from the central part of the same and a U.S. denial that its navy had been involved. 
The Arrow III missile defense system was tested with a "sparrow" missile, which simulates a ballistic missile, and is launched from a plane, during the exercise.
The exercise was carried out from an Israel Air Force base in central Israel, the Defense Ministry said in the statement.
The Defense Ministry's statement contradicted those made earlier Tuesday by a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's European headquarters, who said it had not fired any missiles from ships in the Mediterranean. "No missiles were fired from U.S. ships in the Mediterranean," said the spokesman. He had no further comment.
The projectiles fell into the sea, a sources in Damascus was quoted as saying by the state-run Russian news agency RIA.
Russia's embassy in Syria said there was no sign of a missile attack or explosions in Damascus, according to the Itar-Tass news agency. A Damascus resident told Haaretz he did not heard anything that might indicate a strike on the capital. 
Syria's early warning radar system did not detect any missiles landing on Syrian territory either, according to a Syrian security source quoted by Lebanon's Al-Manar television on Tuesday.
The Interfax news agency quoted a ministry spokesman as saying the launch was detected at 10:16 A.M. Moscow time (0616 GMT) by an early warning radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea, which is designed to detect missiles from Europe and Iran.
The agencies did not say who had carried out the launch and whether any impact had been detected. The ministry declined comment to Reuters.
There may have been more to this test than meets the eye. Syria is on edge waiting for a US strike. Launching a few missiles may have been a test of Syrian air defenses. An AWAC would have been able to detect any radar activity that tracked the missiles., thus revealing Syrian capabilities - and targets for our cruise missiles.

Lots of nervous people in Syria.

Rick Moran


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