Israel, U.S. conduct joint missile test in Mediterranean

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the United States carried out a joint missile test in the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced.

Russia raised an alarm on Tuesday morning, after it detected the unannounced missile launch.

Israel’s Defense Ministry in a statement confirmed that it had carried out a test of the Sparrow target missile, part of the Arrow III missile defense system. The statement said that the “Israel missile defense organization and U.S. missile defense agency officials conducted the flight test.”

The U.S. Navy denied that it had taken part in the test. A spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s European headquarters told reporters that “No missiles were fired from U.S. ships in the Mediterranean.” Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander William Speaks told the Associated Press: “I have nothing to confirm those reports whatsoever.”

The test comes ahead of possible military strikes by the United States and other Western powers on Syria as punishment for its use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.