Photo Credit: Courtesy, IAI
IAI’s Arrow 3 aerial defense system against ballistic missile threats.

The Israel Defense Forces had their first opportunity to use the Arrow aerial defense system in real time on Tuesday, shooting down a surface-to-surface missile fired at Israel by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.

“The IAF thwarted an aerial threat in the area of the Red Sea, the first operational interception by the “Arrow” Aerial Defense System since the beginning of the war,” the IDF said in a statement.


“A surface-to-surface missile was fired toward Israeli territory from the area of the Red Sea and was successfully intercepted by the “Arrow” aerial defense system.

“IAF detection systems tracked the trajectory of the missile, which was successfully intercepted by the “Arrow” aerial defense system at the optimal operational moment and location.”

In addition, IAF fighter jets were scrambled in the morning in response to an “aerial threat” identified in the area of the Red Sea and “intercepted aerial threats that flew in the area,” the IDF said.

All the aerial threats were intercepted outside of Israeli territory. No infiltrations were identified into Israeli territory.

The Arrow is the world’s first defense system designed specifically to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles.

Earlier in the day, the Houthis claimed responsibility for an armed drone attack aimed during the morning at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat.

“These drones belong to the state of Yemen,” Houthi ‘prime minister’ Abdelaziz bin Habtour told the AFP news agency.

A Red Alert siren had initially warned the residents of Eilat of the suspected drone infiltration, with the subsequent sound of explosions reported by residents in the city.

IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a statement following the alert, “IDF systems detected an aerial target approaching Israeli territory and activated alerts. There is no threat posed to the area. I repeat, there is no threat in this area, and there is no danger. We have a strong defensive posture in the southern area in all dimensions.”

Israeli security officials later confirmed that Israel had coordinated with “foreign armies” to intercept the drones and cruise missiles launched Tuesday at the Jewish State.

This past weekend, at least two missiles launched from Yemen landed in the Egyptian town of Nuweiba, a resort town on the shores of the Red Sea in the Sinai desert.

On Friday the IDF said a fighter jet had intercepted an “aerial threat” that appeared several hours after armed drones attacked the Egyptian border town of Taba, just six miles south of Eilat in the Sinai Peninsula. Six people were wounded in the attack.

Last week, American forces aboard the USS Carney naval destroyer in the northern Red Sea also shot down at least three surface-to-surface cruise missiles and some 15 drones fired from Yemen, and likely headed for Israel.

The Saudi army has also been placed on alert following the death of four Saudi soldiers in clashes with the Houthis.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.