Missile explodes close to Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel.
Image Credit: Screenshot from video uploaded on Twitter by falasteen47.
Early Thursday morning, sirens were triggered as incoming rockets were spotted coming from Syria into the Northern Negev area, close to Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor. Massive explosions were heard throughout the country. It has been reported that the sirens were actually triggered not due to the stray missile flying towards Dimona nuclear reactor, but due to a Syrian anti-aircraft missiles that were directed at the Israeli jets that were bombarding targets in Syrian Golan Heights.
During the Israeli jet fighters bombardment in the Golan Heights, Syrian anti-aircraft batteries fired a number of SA-5 missiles, also known as S-200 missiles, at the fighter jets, but one of the SA-5 missile went on a different trajectory and which made it land in the Negev desert. For this reason, sirens were triggered and Israeli anti-aircraft missile were fired to intercept the incoming missile. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that the interceptor missile failed to neutralize the incoming projectile, resulting it to continue its trajectory and eventually exploding in mid-air some 40 kilometres from the nuclear reactor in Dimona.
IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said that there was no evidence that there was any intention of hitting the Dimona nuclear reactor, but a probe has been launched to determine why the stray missile was not successfully neutralized. The SA-5 missiles carry a 200 kilogram warhead and can do considerable damage if it strikes the ground.
An hour after this incident, a second round of attack by Israeli fighter jets was launched and targeted Syrian air defense missile systems, including the battery that fired the stray missile that struck Southern Israel.