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Russian Defense Ministry Reports Two "Ballistic Targets" Launched In Mediterranean, Israel Says Was "Missile Test"

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Update from RIA

Two “ballistic targets” detected Tuesday in the Mediterranean by the Russian military were launched by the Israeli military as part of a joint US-Israeli test of its missile defense system, an official in Tel Aviv said.

 

The launches we’re talking about were a test of the Anchor target missile that is used for testing our missile defense system,” an Israeli Defense Ministry representative told RIA Novosti.

 

The launch was part of joint tests with the US military and were successfully tracked by radars in Israel, the official added. 

So with the world on the edge, and everyone waiting for the "other side" to take the initiative and send a an immediate triggerhappy response, the US and Israel decided to conduct a cruise missile "test" in a hot zone, without warning Russia or anyone else in advance?

* * *

Moments ago Russian RIA news agency reported that Russia’s Defense Ministry said, citing its ballistic missile early warning system, that the launch of two "ballistic targets" has been detected in the Mediterranean,  "The launch was detected at 10:16 Moscow time (06:16 GMT) by a radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

  • RUSSIA SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH DETECTED IN MEDITERRANEAN: RIA
  • RUSSIA SAYS MISSILES SEEN HEADED TOWARD EAST MEDITERRANEAN: IFX 
  • RIA CITES RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ON MISSILE LAUNCH 
  • RUSSIA SAYS MISSILES SEEN HEADED TOWARD EAST MEDITERRANEAN: IFX 
  • RUSSIA SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH DETECTED IN MEDITERRANEAN: RIA 
  • RUSSIA SAYS LAUNCH OF 2 BALLISTIC MISSILES DETECTED: RIA

The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said. A diplomatic source in the Syrian capital, Damascus, told RIA Novosti that the targets fell into the sea. The Russian Embassy in Damascus said it did not have any information about the launch, and the streets and residents of the Syrian capital appeared calm, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported. Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported the launch to President Vladimir Putin, the spokesman told Russian journalists. The Defense Ministry's press service was not immediately available for further comment."

Immediately conflicting reports about the source of the launch emerged: Reuters initially said that "Israel said on Tuesday it was unaware of any ballistic missile launch being conducted in the eastern Mediterranean. "We are not aware, at this time, of such an event having occurred," a military spokeswoman in Jerusalem said after a Russian news agency reported the launch of two ballistic "objects" from the central part of the sea eastward."

Oddly enough, seconds ago more headlines hit Bloomberg which refuted the Reuters report, and determined that it was indeed Israel which had hit the launch button:

  • ISRAEL SAYS ROCKET LAUNCH WAS TEST OF MISSILE DEFENSE: RIA
  • ISRAEL SAYS MISSILE LAUNCH WAS TEST, ISRAEL ARMY RADIO SAYS

On the other end, US Navy's 6th Fleet said no US ships have launched missiles in Eastern Mediterranean despite Russia defence ministry reports.

So on the surface, it appears a missile was launched by Israel, which knows full well that with tensions already at an unprecedented levels, this in itself would likely have been the straw that breaks the camel's back and causes retaliation. The irony, as Reuters also reports, is that Syria's early warning radar system did not detect any missiles landing on Syrian territory, according to a Syrian security source quoted by Lebanon's al-Manar television on Tuesday.

In other words, if this was indeed an attempt at provocation, then Israel was testing to see what Russia's response would be, not so much Syria's.

Finally, NATO, as RIA also reports, is now investigating this launch:

NATO has no information about the launch of "ballistic targets" in the Mediterranean and is looking into those reports, an official from the alliance told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

 

Russia’s Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday its early warning system had detected the launch of two "ballistic targets" in the Mediterranean.

 

The Pentagon, the UK and French Defense Ministries and the Israel Army command have all told RIA Novosti they have no information about such launches.

 

“The Defense Ministry cannot confirm these media reports. This is all I can say,” a French Defense Ministry spokesman said.

 

The launch was detected at 10:16 Moscow time (06:16 GMT) by a radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. The targets’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said.

And speaking of Russia's official response, stay tuned.

 

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