A Syrian anti-aircraft rocket was launched from Syria into Israeli territory. The rocket appears to have exploded in the air, Israel said overnight.
The Syrian air defense missile fired in the early hours of Sunday is not the first time the Syrian air defenders have fired their S-200 and other air defense missiles wildly.
Air defense missiles like an S-200 have a long range, sometimes around 150 kilometers or more. They also carry a large warhead of several hundred pounds. These large missiles can pose a danger beyond just being air defense missiles.
They are also older munitions, meaning that Syria’s air defenders not only fire wildly but also are sometimes relying on older technology. Syria has air defenses acquired from Russia, however, Russia has not modernized those air defenses.
Although Moscow had promised S-300s to Israel years ago, it does not appear Syria usually has access to or uses modern air defense missiles of the S-300 variety.
When Syrian air defenders fire wildly
In March 2017, a Syrian air defense missile flew over Jordan and was heading for the Jordan Valley and Israel when it was intercepted by Israel’s Arrow air defense system. The Arrow system is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles. In July 2019, a Syrian S-200 flew from Syria and landed in Cyprus. In April 202, a Syrian air defense missile also flew over the Negev.
The frequent incidents involving Syrian air defense illustrate the danger that the missiles pose to the Middle East. They are not only ballistic missiles, but their range and size of warhead mean they can pose other dangers.