A ballistic missile is launched and tested in an undisclosed location, Iran, March 9, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The 20 Iranian missiles that were fired at but failed to hit Israeli territory on Thursday were not its higher quality precision missiles, preeminent missile defense expert Uzi Rubin told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
After IDF intelligence warned that IDF bases might be hit by high quality Iranian missiles, which Hezbollah and Syria do not possess, four missiles were shot down by Iron Dome and 16 missed badly, striking Syrian territory.
Explaining the perplexing result, Rubin, the founder and original director of the Arrow defense program, a decades-long veteran of Israeli missile defense in the Defense Ministry and the National Security Council and currently a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, said that Iran had more advanced missiles which it had not used.
He said there was no way to know why Tehran had chosen to use its lower quality and lower precision missiles, though possibly Israeli warnings had deterred it from using more powerful precision weapons which might cause a greater retaliation from Israel.
Reports have also indicated that Israel has hit a range of Iranian weaponry in recent weeks. This could have impacted what was readily available, and other observers have theorized that any Iranian attack on Israel would be moderated by a desire not to turn off the EU from working with it to maintain the nuclear deal after the US pulled out on Tuesday.