Iranian drone that infiltrated Israel carried explosives, tasked to carry out attack
Study of Iranian UAV that breached Israeli airspace reveals it carried explosives the IDF says were meant to be used in an attack in Israel; IDF Spokesperson: 'by intercepting the Iranian UAV, IAF combat helicopters prevented the attack Iran had hoped to carry out in Israel.'
IDF revealed on Friday that a study of the Iranian drone that infiltrated Israeli airspace in February before being intercepted by an IDF Apache helicopter and am investigation of its deployment revealed it was strapped with explosives and aimed to carry out an attack in Israel.
"After flight path analysis & an operational & intelligence-based investigation of the Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israeli airspace on 2.10.2018, the IDF concluded that the Iranian UAV was armed with explosives & was tasked to attack Israel," the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said on Twitter.
"By intercepting the Iranian UAV, IAF combat helicopters prevented the attack Iran had hoped to carry out in Israel. The UAV was identified & tracked by Israeli defense systems until its destruction, effectively eliminating any threat the Iranian UAV posed," it added in a following tweet.
The Iranian drone is considered to be very advanced and spent about a minute and a half in Israeli territory after crossing the Israel-Jordan border.
The incursion resulted in a retaliatory strike by the Israeli Air Force, during which two Israeli F-16 pilots were hurt after their plane was shot down and crashed in Israel. The pilots were able to bail out of the plane. One pilot was seriously wounded, while the other was only lightly hurt. Both have since recovered from their wounds.
A week later, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would act against Iran, not just its allies in the Middle East, if needed, reiterating that Tehran was the world's greatest threat.
Holding a piece of the downed Iranian drone, Netanyahu told the Munich Security Conference: "Israel will not allow the regime to put a noose of terror around our neck."
On Monday, a military target linked to the UAVs of Iranian forces at the T-4 base in Syria was attacked. At least 14 people were reportedly killed, including four Iranian "military advisers."
Also known as the Tiyas Airbase and located in the Homs Governorate, north of Tiyas, the base has been used by Iran for the past several months. Israel says Iran has been using the base in recent months for the purpose of transferring weaponry to be used against Israel.
On Friday, Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened that the Israeli-attributed strike opened the prospect of conflict between Israel and Iran.
"They have committed a great folly and have put themselves into a direct fight with Iran," the leader of heavily armed and Tehran-backed Shi’ite terror organization said in a televised speech, calling the strike "unprecedented."
The Iranian DroneFootage of the Iranian UAV shows it heavily resembles a US stealth drone that was downed in Iran in 2011.
After being captured in Iran, the United States asked for it back, but was refused.
US magazine The Aviationist reported the drone was a model the Revolutionary Guards presented two years ago, built on the basis of the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel aerial reconnaissance UAV.
Iran reported that the UAV includes advanced intelligence gathering systems for electronic signals, images, communications and radar systems.
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, of the Revolutionary Guards' Air Force and Aerospace Division, said at the time that the Iranian model "is easier, faster and consumes less fuel than its source."