Israel Launches Test Missiles Amid Soaring Regional Tensions

With Middle East tensions spiking amid concerns of a U.S.-led assault on Syria, Russian alarm bells caused a stir Tuesday morning after radar detected missile activity in the Mediterranean Sea.

As Reuters reports, however, the flurry of activity was related to joint Israel/U.S. missile testing with Israel Defense Ministry later confirming that it had “tested a missile used as a target in a U.S.-funded anti-missile system at 9:15 a.m (0615 GMT), about the same time as the Russian radar picked up the launch.”

Though the Russians first said the objects appeared to have been launched from either U.S. or Israeli warships stationed in the Mediterranean, subsequent details and a statement from Israeli officials revealed the test was a ballistic missile launch from an Israeli base on land. As Haaretz reports:

The U.S. would only say that “no missiles” were fired from its ships.

“This is Israel saying ‘we can defend ourselves’. They do these tests frequently but they would have chosen today as a reminder (to Israel’s enemies),” said Tim Marshall, foreign affairs editor for Sky News, which also covered the confusing events of Tuesday morning.

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