Officials said the Syrian tests included that of the Scud D ballistic
missile, with a range of 700 kilometers and which can contain a chemical
warhead. They said North Korea has helped Syria develop a two-stage Scud D
meant to frustrate Israel's missile defense system.
They said the launches appeared to test Syria's command and control network
required to sustain a missile attack on Israel.
Syria was also said to have fired the Soviet-origin SS-21 rocket during
the exercise. The single-stage SS-21 has a range of more than 70 kilometers
and was said to be capable of striking Israeli strategic facilities.
Officials said Syria has about 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic
missiles, including the Scud B and Scud C. They said Iran and North Korea
have been helping Syria integrate a range of missile and rocket batteries
into a nationwide network.
Israel responded to the Syrian missile launches with a missile defense
exercise in August. Officials acknowledged that neither Israel's Arrow-2 nor
the U.S.-origin Patriot systems could intercept most of Syria's missiles and
Israel's Channel 2 television disclosed the Syrian missile and rocket
exercise on Aug. 18, the eve of a visit by President Bashar Assad to Russia.
Assad was expected to discuss with his Russian hosts the prospect of
purchasing the Iskander-E rocket, with a range of 280 kilometers.