The First ever operational interception of the Israeli Arrow 3 Ballistic missile defense (BMD) system has occurred Thursday night , 17/03/2017 , above the border triangle of Syria-Israel-Jordan. The remains of either the Syrian missile or the Israeli interceptor landed in the North Western Jordanian territory, indicating a very high altitude detonation, the echoes of which were heard as far as Jerusalem.
The bizarre claims of IDF spokesman (who, as usual, must take everyone for idiots) that the Arrow interceptor shot down a Syrian S-200 anti aircraft missile, fired at the Israeli bombers who struck military targets near Homs and Palmyra, make no sense given the geographic and technical data. It seems like a lame attempt to cover up the fact that for the first time since the Syrian civil war begun, either the Syrian army or its Hezbollah proxies have fired a ballistic missile at Israeli targets in retaliation for the Israeli bombing raid on Hezbollah missile depots in Syria.
The entry of the Syrian missile into Israeli airspace triggered the automatic siren system of the home-front command which caused panic in Jordan valley communities following the very loud explosions heard during the interception, thereby forcing the IDF to admit the bombing raid openly, in sharp contrast to its usual practice of maintaining silence in order to achieve plausible deniability and avoid escalation.
It seems like the interception was also seen on Syrian radars, which led them to announce they have shot down an Israeli jet within Israeli territory. This false claim can be understood either as a mistake or a deliberate ploy to go along with the IDF version of an Arrow 3 intercepting an S-200, in order not to ‘rock the boat’ too much.
In any case these events mark yet another phase of escalation in the Syrian war, following the deployment of US ground forces in Northern Syria and the US bombing in Syria yesterday, allegedly on Al Qaeda targets, which took place simultaneously with the Israeli one. It remains to be seen if the situation could develop to a full scale war in the near future.