MOSCOW, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – Hours after Israel admitted to firing “ballistic targets” that resembled missiles in the Mediterranean, a launch that the country did not priorly announce, Russia’s Defense Ministry spoke out against “playing with arms and missiles” in such a “volatile” region.
“Is there any other region more volatile and packed with weapons today?” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told journalists. “I don’t completely understand how someone could play with arms and missiles in that region today.”
Antonov called on those who launched the so-called missile-like targets to be more responsible for regional security and “not play with fire.”
“The Mediterranean is a powder keg,” he said. “A match is enough for fire to break out and possibly spread not only to neighboring states but to other world regions as well. I remind you that the Mediterranean is close to the borders of the Russian Federation.”
He recalled that a meteorological rocket launch by Norway in 1995 was mistaken as a possible rocket attack on Russia.
The two “ballistic targets,” detected by the Russian military on Tuesday, had been launched by the Israeli military as part of a joint US-Israeli test of the Middle Eastern nation’s missile-defense system, an official in Tel Aviv said.
Russia put its General Staff’s central command center on high alert after the launches, Antonov said.
The launch was detected at 10:16 a.m. Moscow time (6:16 a.m. GMT) by radar in the southern Russian city of Armavir, a Defense Ministry spokesman said. The objects’ trajectories ran from the central to the eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said. A diplomatic source in the Syrian capital, Damascus, told RIA that the targets had fallen into the sea.