Published: Wed, September 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Drone with Patriot Missile

An Israeli military spokesman told the Guardian that it was not the first occasion in which it had detected Hezbollah drones conducting reconnaissance near Israel's border. Manelis refused to say whether the drone mission was related to the recent Israeli attack on a military site in Syria, saying that the IDF "does not comment of foreign reports". A Patriot missile was used to destroy the drone.

The IDF "will not allow any infiltration or approach toward the Golan Heights area by terrorist figures from Iranian forces, Hezbollah, Shiite militias or Islamic Jihad", it stated after the incident.

"We will respond to any such activity sharply and clearly, and we will work to prevent any attempt like it", the army added.

Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in Syria. "This is proof of the IDF and the defense establishment's readiness".

"The transition from routine to emergency at a pace that we are living here is unprecedented, and I repeat that there is no more army more prepared, at a professional level like the IDF".

Conricus said Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Lebanese group that has sent forces to back Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Syrian civil war, routinely uses drones on surveillance missions.

The Israel Defense Forces shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by Hezbollah early Tuesday afternoon after the drone entered the demilitarized zone along the border between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.

With the Iron Dome, the Arrow and David's Sling, Israel's aerial defense system provide a comprehensive protective umbrella able to counter the growing missile threats from short range rockets to longer-range ballistic missiles fired at ranges between 40 to 300 km.

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