MOSCOW, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- The alleged launch of two ballistic missiles in Mediterranean Tuesday during a joint Israel-U.S. test was meant to sustain tensions in the restive region, said a Russian expert.
"It could hardly be a coincidence. This could be, of course, a simple folly from the U.S. and Israel's military planners, but most likely it is a deliberate step to sustain tensions in the region," Igor Korotchenko, Chief Editor of the National Defense magazine, told Xinhua.
The expert said these tests were conducted with both political and military goals.
"Launch of these two missiles, or 'targets', is a demonstration of the U.S. readiness to use force in Syria," he said. "There is also a U.S. intention to fill the gap which occurred between John Kerry's statement made on Sunday and Congress's recess due on Sept. 9. It is their political goal not to let the situation defuse."
Washington also wanted to check how quickly Russia's early warning systems would react on the missiles firing and what steps Moscow would undertake following the detection of the missiles, Korotchenko added.
"Whatever the real purpose of the tests is, it demonstrates U.S. reckless policy in the situation around Syria," said the expert.
The missile launches, which took place at 10:16 Moscow time (0616 GMT), were detected by radar located in the town of Armavir in southern Russia, said the Russian Defense Ministry.
Also on Tuesday, Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the Federation Council's Defense and Security committee, said a missile strike against Syria without the UN Security Council's approval would deal a blow to international security and world order.
"If we recognize the supremacy of international law and the sovereignty of UN member states, the start of a U.S. military action against Syria bypassing the UNSC could only mean one thing, that is, another American aggression against an Arab state torn apart by civil war," Ozerov was quoted by Interfax as saying.
Sergei Vershinin, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Middle East and North Africa department, told reporters that the upcoming trip of Russian lawmakers to the United States would help prevent a military scenario against Syria.
"We are proceeding from the assumption that it is necessary to use up all opportunities so as not to allow a negative military scenario ... It is important to convey our civil society's opinion that a war is unacceptable," he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday: "In order to better understand each other, there is no other way but a direct and open dialogue with arguments and with the presentation of positions."
Also on Monday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any attack on Syria will dampen the chances of holding future peace talks in Geneva.