The Israeli Air Force struck and destroyed a Syrian missile battery after it launched a missile that exploded near central Israel early Friday morning, according to Hebrew media reports Friday evening on Channel 12 and Army Radio.
The Syrian air defense missile flew over Israeli skies before exploding over the Mediterranean Sea, the Israel Defense Forces said. Missile fragments were later found in the Tel Aviv area. Incoming rocket warning sirens were not sounded, in keeping with the military’s policy of not triggering alarms for projectiles headed toward unpopulated areas.
The Syrian military fired the missile in response to what Syrian state media said were Israeli airstrikes near Damascus. Israeli officials believe the missile was not intentionally fired at Israeli territory.
According to Channel 12, those Israeli strikes apparently targeted an advanced weapons facility, possibly a Hezbollah site for the production of precision-guided missiles. The report did not cite any sources.
There were no reports of injuries or damage in Israel as a result of the fallen missile fragments.
“This morning, residents of central [Israel] found a number of missile fragments on the ground. The fragments were collected by the Israel Police. We thank the residents for their conscientiousness, and we ask them to not touch these fragments,” the military said in a statement.
Possible shrapnel from the Syrian air defense missile landed in the Kfar Shalem neighborhood of Tel Aviv. The projectile apparently exploded in the air. pic.twitter.com/OwjcYg2kkm
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) September 3, 2021
Syrian air defense missiles have in the past accidentally shot down a Russian military plane and have also reached Cyprus in error.
The IDF did not comment on the alleged strikes in Syria, as per its policy.
Video published by SANA purported to show an air defense missile being fired into the air. A blast could be heard shortly after.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.