Israel fires missile at drone that entered from Syria

Last month, Israel fired a missile at a drone that approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier, and in February Israel shot down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace.

11 July 2018 | 18:44

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 11 July 2018 | 18:44

(AFP Photo)

JERUSALEM: Israel fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that entered its territory from Syria on Wednesday, the military said, warning it won't tolerate airspace infiltrations that have occurred several times over the past year.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the drone was constantly monitored and that it traveled about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) inside Israel territory. He said defensive measures were taken.

"We scrambled four fighter jets that were on standby for similar missions as well as two attack helicopters," he said.

Conricus said the drone was later destroyed by a single Patriot missile. Its remains landed near the Sea of Galilee.

Conricus said military officials think the drone was an unarmed Syrian craft that could have been on an intelligence collecting mission, but it was not yet clear if it purposely entered Israel or strayed from its path. It had also flown over Jordan, he said.

The military issued a statement warning that it "will not allow any violation of Israeli airspace and will act against any attempt to hurt its civilians."

Last month, Israel fired a missile at a drone that approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier, and in February Israel shot down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace. It bombed Iranian targets in Syria in response to that incident.

Wednesday's incident came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks on Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria but it has carried out dozens of airstrikes on alleged arms shipments bound for the militant group Hezbollah.

Israel has warned Iran, which is allied with the Syrian government, against building up a military presence on its doorstep.


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