The Syrian missiles that triggered Israel’s David’s Sling air-defense system on Monday have been identified as SS-21 Tochkas, short-range surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying half-ton warheads, according to an initial investigation by the IDF.
It emerged that the SS-21s had not been aimed at Israel, but rather were part of the fighting in southern Syria.
The decision to intercept them was made at a point in their trajectory which indicated that they might land in Israeli territory, near the Kinneret.
One of the missiles fell less than a mile short of the Israel-Syrian border. The fate of the other has not yet been determined. It is not known whether the David’s Sling interceptor brought it down.
“Two David’s Sling interceptors were fired at the rockets, as there was a fear they could strike Israeli territory. The Syrian rockets landed inside Syrian territory. No damage was caused, and there were no injuries,” the military said in a statement.
The IDF was reviewing the performance of the David’s Sling system, after its first published use under combat conditions.
When it became clear that, based on data from air defense computers, the Syrian missiles did not pose a danger to Israel, one of the interceptor missiles was given the electronic signal to self-destruct, which it did, over the southern Golan Heights.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Yerushalayim with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss the Iranian presence in Syria.
The Russian delegation visited PM Netanyahu’s residence Monday evening.
PM Netanyahu announced earlier in the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin had requested the meeting.