The Israeli military says it has intercepted and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) purportedly operated by the Syrian Air Force in Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus said in a statement on Saturday that the drone was targeted by a Patriot missile over the Golan demilitarized zone, which has separated Israeli and Syrian forces since the ceasefire deal that followed the 1973 war.
“It was a reconnaissance UAV and not an attack UAV; and we are checking whether there is any connection to Iran and Hezbollah,” Conricus added.
Meanwhile, the Israeli minister of military affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, has said Tel Aviv viewed the incident gravely, and would respond to any provocation.
During the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria, in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats in their fight against Syrian government forces.
This picture taken from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights shows smoke billowing from the Syrian side of the border on June 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Back in April 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially admitted for the first time that the regime’s military had conducted strikes in Syrian territory.
Damascus says Israel and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups operating inside the Arab country, while the Tel Aviv regime’s military carries out such sporadic strikes against Syrian government forces. The Israeli regime has even set up field hospitals to treat wounded militants evacuated from Syria.
Moreover, the Syrian army has repeatedly seized huge quantities of Israeli-made weapons and advanced military equipment from the foreign-backed militants inside Syria.
Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community. The regime has built dozens of settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.—Agencies