Russian embassy reports no damage in Damascus after missile detection

The Russian Defence Ministry announced detection of two ballistic "objects" fired towards the Eastern Mediterranean early this morning, according to the RIA News Agency.

That report has now been denied by the Russian embassy in Syria, which has stated that there is no sign of a missile attack or explosions in Damascus after ballistic launches were detected.

Sky News have reported that the detected launches were test shots. They appear to have been part of a US test of Israeli missile defences.

Gold and oil spiked, but are now retreating as traders treat the news as a false alarm. An attack before US President Barack Obama waits for Congress to vote is deemed to be very unlikely.

RIA reported that the objects were detected by the Armavir early warning radar, the launch was registered at 10.16am Moscow time (7.16 BST).

Syrian state television said soon after that a gas pipeline has been blown up near Deir Ezzor. These reports are also unconfirmed, and may be unrelated.

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