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Israel missile test routine, U.S. says

Sept. 3, 2013 at 12:41 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A missile test conducted Tuesday in the Mediterranean Sea had "nothing to do" with possible military intervention in Syria, a U.S. defense official said.

Defense Department spokesman George Little said Tuesday the U.S. military provided technical assistance for an Israeli missile test in the Mediterranean Sea. He said the test was a scheduled event meant to evaluate the Israeli military's ability to detect, track and monitor a simulated threat to its national interests.

"This test had nothing to do with United States consideration of military action to respond to Syria's chemical weapons attack," he said in a statement.

Little said the United States and Israel have a long history of cooperation on missile defense development.

U.S. President Barack Obama called on congressional leaders to sign off on a limited strike option to respond to last month's alleged chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb. U.N. investigators said they were examining forensic evidence taken from the scene.

"We have set up a draft authorization," he said Tuesday. "We're going to be asking for hearings and a prompt vote."

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