Israeli Missile Test Near Syria Criticized as ‘Irresponsible’

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 3, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

Is­rael on Tues­day claimed re­spons­ib­il­ity for fir­ing dummy mis­siles that were de­tec­ted by Rus­sia and briefly spurred spec­u­la­tion that a U.S. mis­sile at­tack on the Syr­i­an mil­it­ary had be­gun, the Los Angeles Times re­por­ted.

Rus­si­an radar picked up the pres­ence of two “bal­list­ic” ob­jects not long after 10 a.m. Mo­scow time, ac­cord­ing to re­ports by of­fi­cial Rus­si­an me­dia. At first, the mis­sile de­tec­tion aroused con­cern that the United States had be­gun a tar­geted mis­sile strike on the re­gime of Syr­i­an Pres­id­ent Bashar As­sad as pun­ish­ment for its re­cent al­leged large-scale chem­ic­al-weapons at­tack. However, Rus­sia’s dip­lo­mat­ic headquar­ters in Dam­as­cus said there were no in­dic­a­tions of any phys­ic­al fal­lout from a mis­sile at­tack, ac­cord­ing to RIA Nov­osti. 

Ap­prox­im­ately two hours after Mo­scow an­nounced the de­tec­tion of the bal­list­ic ob­jects, the Is­raeli mil­it­ary claimed own­er­ship of them and said they were tar­gets that were part of a bi­lat­er­al mis­sile-de­fense drill with the United States.

Ig­or Korotchen­ko, who ed­its the Rus­si­an Na­tion­al De­fense journ­al, blas­ted Is­rael for the tim­ing of the mis­sile-de­fense ex­er­cise.

“If Is­rael chose to act so totally ir­re­spons­ibly, the United States should have at least used the hot­line between Wash­ing­ton and the Krem­lin to warn Mo­scow of such tests,” he said, adding, “It is not clear wheth­er the Krem­lin was in­formed in ad­vance.”

Pres­id­ent Obama has said he would seek con­gres­sion­al au­thor­iz­a­tion for a mil­it­ary strike on Syr­ia, which could in­volve cruise mis­siles fired from U.S. war­ships in the Medi­ter­ranean.

An uniden­ti­fied U.S. Navy spokes­man at the ser­vice’s European com­mand on Tues­day said “no mis­siles were fired from U.S. ships in the Medi­ter­ranean,” Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

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