IDF chose not to intercept Syrian missile – report

The Russian-made anti-aircraft missile was launched from Homs in southern Syria and traveled nearly 415 kilometers (257 miles), before exploding over Rahat.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli air force chose not to intercept an anti-aircraft missile launched from Syria because it was believed that the projectile would explode in the air, according to Hebrew-language media.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, a missile from Syria exploded over the southern Negev desert, raining down large pieces of shrapnel on the Bedouin city of Rahat.

The missile parts, which measured as long as 3 meters (10 feet) caused significant damage to buildings, but no injuries were reported.

The Russian-made anti-aircraft missile was launched from Homs in southern Syria and traveled nearly 415 kilometers (257 miles), before exploding over Rahat.

Initially, some commentators and outlets floated the theory that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system had failed, but new reports indicate that the choice not to intercept the missile was intentional.

According to Ynet, senior military officials made the call not to shoot down the missile or activate the incoming air defense siren alert system, due to calculations that the projectile would land without endangering human life.

“I was sitting in the living room, when suddenly I heard a very loud boom. I was in a panic. I got dressed, jumped up, and suddenly a friend told me that this long, heavy and huge missile fell in an open area,” Sami Alkirnawi, a Rahat resident, told Ynet.

“I immediately raised my hands to the sky and said: ‘Thank God’ [that no one was injured.] It’s a great miracle that it didn’t fall on a house, otherwise it would have crushed it and broken it into tiny pieces.”

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Raad Al-Obra, another Rahat resident, told Ynet that “we heard a big boom. We looked outside and didn’t see anything, then we realized that [shrapnel] fell [in the yard] of our the neighbors… The shrapnel was huge. People were shocked.”

Al-Obra noted that “the fall occurred right between the houses. It caused damage to the roof, but no one was hurt.”