Putin notified that launches were detected after U.S.-Israel exercise
Published: 16 hours ago
WASHINGTON – Just as the Syrian crisis was getting under way, a joint U.S.-Israeli test of an anti-missile system prompted the Russian General Staff to go on “high alert” and notify President Vladimir Putin that missiles may be incoming on Syria.
The reason: Neither the United States nor Israel bothered to notify Russia that the Sept. 2 test was going on in the Mediterranean near Syria.
Moscow’s response was immediate.
The Russian General Staff thought Israel had launched a preemptive attack on Syria in the eastern Mediterranean which some Russian officials said could have led to World War III.
The U.S. and Israel were conducting a joint test of Israel’s Arrow-3 anti-missile system when it launched two Israeli Ankor, or Sparrow, missiles as targets from the central Mediterranean toward the eastern Mediterranean coast.
The Arrow is Israel’s most advanced anti-missile system and the U.S. has spent billions of dollars in its development.
According to various sources, the Russian ballistic missile early warning radar at Armavir on the Black Sea detected the launch of the two Ankor target missiles, heading toward Syria.
Armavir provides early warning of incoming missile attacks on Russia from Europe and the Middle East.
Putin was immediately notified of the launches.
When the truth came out about the unannounced anti-missile test, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov criticized Israel for undertaking such a launch during a crisis occurring in the neighboring country of Syria.
Referring to the Mediterranean region as a “powder keg,” Antonov warned that anything such as an unannounced missile test could explode into war.