IDF fires Patriot missile at drone flying into Israel from Syria
Military says it detected a UAV flying from Syria into the Golan Heights before it crossed the border, kicking air defenses into action; 'The IDF will not allow a violation of its sovereignty over the airspace of the State of Israel', military says, as Safed residents report seeing missile trail in the city's skies.
According to the IDF, the unmanned aerial vehicle retreated unscathed following the launching of the missile, returning to an area controlled by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.
The Syrian army with the help of allied forces has been mobilizing troops and sending reinforcements in a widening military campaign to regain rebel-held territory near the area where the drone was targeted and along the border with Jordan.
"The drone is for operations in southern Syrian around where the battles are going on," a commander in the regional alliance supporting Assad told Reuters.
The southwest is of strategic concern to US-allied Israel, which has this year stepped up attacks on Iran-backed militia allied to Assad.
Israel says it will continue to target Iranian assets in Syria with the goal of forcing Tehran out of the war torn country.
“The IDF will not allow a violation of Israel's sovereignty and will act against any attempt to harm its citizens.”
In November 2017, Israel fired a Patriot missile at a drone that managed to infiltrate Israeli airspace in the Golan Heights.
The drones are used for reconnaissance and gathering intelligence on Israel’s northern border.
Reuters contributed to this report.