Two large chunks of debris, apparently from an Israeli Arrow interceptor of a Syrian missile, fell near the Jordanian city of Irbid, causing no injuries and minor damage, Jordanian officials said Friday.
Syria fired anti-aircraft missiles at IAF warplanes that were on a predawn strike in Syria. Israel intercepted one of the missiles using the advanced Arrow system, reportedly for the first time in a real event.
The Syrian surface-to-air missile was fired from eastern Syria over Jordan and was heading toward the Jerusalem area. The Syrian missiles were apparently SA-5 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
After the interception, one large cylinder fell in the eastern district of the city of Irbid, while the second landed in agricultural area in the nearby city of Inbah, causing minor damage to property, said Otoum Radwan, the governor of Irbid, according to the official Petra news agency.
The Jordanian army and security agencies were collecting the debris from populated areas, the army said.
The missile sections were most likely from the Israeli interceptor.
Two more Syrian missiles fell in Israel without causing any injury or damage.
Surface-to-air missiles are designed to detonate at high altitudes to bring down aircraft or other missiles, and so do not pose much of a threat to people on the ground other than the possibility of being directly hit by falling shrapnel or the remains of the missile.
Therefore, it was not immediately clear why the IDF used the Arrow against a SAM, possibly indicating a misidentification of the type of weapon being fired from Syria.
The IDF said neither civilians on the ground nor Israeli Air Force pilots were in any danger at any point during the incident.
The most advanced version of the defense system is the Arrow 3, which Israel has been developing with the United States since 2008. Earlier versions of the Arrow system have been in place since the 1990s.
It is a major part of the multi-layered air defense array that Israel has designed to protect itself against a range of missile threats — from short-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to longer-range threats like a missile launch from Iran. The Iron Dome short-range interceptor is designed block projectiles heading for populated areas while allowing others to fall harmlessly in open areas.