Russia announced that its early warning system had detected the launch of two missiles in the sea, and amid region-wide jitters over U.S. talk of possible military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
“The Ministry of Defense together with the American Agency for Missile Defense carried out the successful test of the experimental target missile ‘Anchor,'” the Israeli ministry said on its Facebook page.
The launch came from an Israeli Air Force base in a central part of the country and reviewed the “improved ability” of the “Anchor,” the ministry said.
“They checked the defense systems against missiles of the ‘Arrow’ system including radar and system controls. After the target missile Anchor was fired the radar called Greenpine identified it and sent the data to the control center. At the same time additional sources tracked the missile,” the ministry said.
While Israel apparently made reference to the Missile Defense Agency, an entity in the U.S. Defense Department, American sources asked about the test did not say the United States was involved in it.
A U.S. official said what occurred in the eastern Mediterranean was an “expected Israeli system test” and the official said it was up to the Israelis to explain exactly what they were testing.
And, a U.S. military official stressed that “this did not involve U.S. forces.”
“No ballistic missile launch has been detected,” the military official told CNN. “None at our ships and none by our ships. There have been no offensive or defensive missile launches by the U.S. military.”
Russia’s state-run news outlet RIA Novosti said the launch was detected Tuesday morning by radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, citing a Defense Ministry spokesman.
“The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean,” RIA Novosti reported, citing the spokesman.
The targets fell into the sea, a diplomatic source in the Syrian capital of Damascus told RIA Novosti.