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Israel, U.S. conduct joint missile test in Mediterranean, Israel says

JTA

September 3, 2013 | 7:12 am

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the inauguration ceremony of a hi-tech industry park in the southern city of Beersheba on Sept. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the inauguration ceremony of a hi-tech industry park in the southern city of Beersheba on Sept. 3. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israel and the United States carried out a joint missile test in the Mediterranean Sea, Israel’s Defense Ministry said.

Russia raised an alarm on Tuesday morning after it detected the unannounced missile launch.

Israel’s Defense Ministry in a statement confirmed that it had carried out a test of the Sparrow target missile, part of the Arrow III defense system. The statement said the “Israel missile defense organization and U.S. missile defense agency officials conducted the flight test.”

The U.S. Navy denied it took part in the test, with a spokesman for its European headquarters telling reporters, “No missiles were fired from U.S. ships in the Mediterranean.” Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander William Speaks told The Associated Press, “I have nothing to confirm those reports whatsoever.”

The test comes ahead of possible military strikes by the United States and allies on Syria as punishment for its use of chemical weapons against its own citizens.

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