| ||IAF ‘Arrow’ battery intercepts Syrian missile, in first reported use of the system
Syria fires three anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets; one knocked down by defense system, reportedly over Jordan; other two land in Israel, cause no damage
rael shot down an incoming Syrian anti-aircraft missile with the Arrow defense battery early Friday morning, military officials said, in the first reported use of the advanced system.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., Israeli “aircrafts targeted several targets in Syria,” the Israel Defense Forces said, prompting a Syrian attempt to down the Israeli jets.
According to Arab media, the target of the IAF strikes was a Hezbollah weapons convoy.
“Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF aerial defense systems intercepted one of the missiles,” the army said in a statement.
The anti-aircraft missiles were fired from eastern Syria by Bashar Assad’s military, traveling over Jordan and toward the Jerusalem area. They were apparently SA-5 surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
The Arrow is primarily designed to shoot down intercontinental ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, intercepting the weapons and their conventional, nuclear, biological or chemical warheads close to their launch sites.
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.