Patriot missile launched at drone from Syria
A Patriot missile was fired at a Syrian drone on Wednesday afternoon, the IDF said, prompting a rocket-alert siren to go off in several communities in the Golan Heights.
A Red Alert siren was sounded around 3:30pm in Haspin, Givat Yoav, Ramat Magshimim, Kfar Haruv, Mevo Hama, and Metzar among others, in the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley.
The drone flew 10 kms inside Israel before a Patriot missile shot it down over Kinneret Lake. The long-range suggests that it wasn’t a navigational error, but an intentional move.
The IDF said it would not allow any violation of Israel’s airspace and will retaliate against any attempt to harm its citizens.
“After we closely monitored the UAV and ensured that all the necessary conditions were met, we decided to intercept it with one Patriot missile,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, Head of the International and Social Media Branch.
While there are not many details about the UAV at this time, IDF officials have confirmed that it was unarmed. The debris, which fell near the Sea of Galilee, are currently being investigated to determine its model and other relevant information.
The UAV crossed 6 miles (10 km) into Israeli territory from Syria after flying over Jordan. The monitoring process, which allowed the IDF to track the UAV, played a key role in the interception of the drone and allowed the IDF to ensure to whom the drone belonged.
While IDF officials are currently unsure if the UAV entered Israeli airspace intentionally. The airspace is dense and it is not uncommon for UAVs from other armies to fly in the region. However, despite the amount of armed forces operating in the area, straying off flight paths is an uncommon occurrence
The IDF is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios and is committed to upholding the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement. Furthermore, the IDF condemns this breach of sovereignty and will continue to act in response to any attempts of aggression against Israeli civilians.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Tuesday the pro-Iranian Shi’ite militias in the Syrian Golan Heights not to try to establish a terror network on the border with Israel.
Liberman said that any Syrian soldier found in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel is taking his life into his own hands. Iranian presence in Syria “is unacceptable for Israel and we will operate against any Iranian entrenchment in Syria,” he said.