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Israel Launches 2 missiles in the Mediterranean

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Israel Launches 2 missiles in the Mediterranean

Post  Panda on Tue 3 Sep - 12:51

Russia's missile early warning system spots two launches heading towards Syria, before Israel admits it was carrying out a test.12:35pm UK, Tuesday 03 September 2013 Video: Israel Admits To Firing Missiles
Enlarge EmailIsrael has said it carried out a missile test in the Mediterranean, amid continued tensions in the region over the crisis in Syria.

Israel's defence ministry said it had tested a single 'Ankor' target missile, which it said formed part of a US-funded anti-missile system.

Two ballistic "objects" were fired towards the eastern Mediterranean from the central part of the sea, Russia's defence ministry had reportedly said.

Interfax news agency quoted a ministry spokesman as saying the launch was detected at 10.16 am Moscow time (7.16am UK time) by an early warning radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea, which is designed to detect missiles from Europe and Iran.

Sky News' Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said: "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)."

Despite reports that Israel had claimed the launch was a joint test with America, a US Navy spokesman said no missiles had been fired from any of its ships in the Mediterranean.

The Russian Embassy in Syria said there were no signs of a missile attack or explosions in the capital, Damascus.

The US Navy denied involvement in the test

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had informed President Vladimir Putin of the launch, according to Interfax.

Russia opposes any outside military intervention in the Syrian civil war and a ministry official had earlier criticised the United States for deploying warships in the Mediterranean close to Syria.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had previously said she was not aware of any missile launch in the eastern Mediterranean.

Washington is currently assessing whether to order sea-launched strikes against Syria, with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attempting to convince Congress of the need to intervene.

Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who are both campaigning for action, met the President to discuss operations.

Mr Graham said: "It is all in the details, but I left the meeting feeling better than I felt before about what happens the day after and that the purpose of the attack is going to be a little more robust than I thought."

And Mr McCain said in an interview that Mr Obama did not reveal what weapons might be provided to the opposition in Syria or discuss in what targets might be attacked.

"There was no concrete agreement, 'OK, we got a deal,’" Mr McCain said.

"Like a lot of things, the devil is in the details."

It came as Foreign Secretary William Hague answered questions on the Syria crisis in Parliament.

France previously released satellite imagery it said showed strikes came from government-controlled areas to the east and west of the Syrian capital and targeting rebel-held zones, just before civilians began dying from gas poisoning.

President Bashar al Assad warned Syria would retaliate if France takes part in foreign strikes on his forces.
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