Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Israeli Patriot missile intercepts drone from Syria - IDF

Israeli Patriot missile intercepts drone from Syria - IDF

"We are prepared for the possibility of Israeli sovereignty being violated as a result of the fighting in Syria", IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said.

On June 24, Israel's military said it launched a Patriot missile at an incoming drone from Syria, which turned away unscathed.

The drone infiltration took place as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow to stress to Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence in Syria.

This is the second time in a month that Israel has intercepted a drone flying in from Syria.

"The UAV infiltrated the Israeli border from Syria", Israeli Defense Force (IDF) said in a statement. "We will discuss Syria, we will discuss Iran, we will discuss Israel's security needs", Netanyahu told reporters before leaving. He added that the latter scenario was "not common".

However, the army did not clarify whether the unmanned aerial vehicle was intercepted over the Golan Heights, which Israel occupied during the 1967 war with Syria.

An Israeli official said Wednesday night Netanyahu told Putin that Israel will not seek to unseat Assad from power, while urging Moscow to remove Iranian troops from the country, according to an Israeli official.

"We chose to bring with us two wonderful children who are bravely fighting cancer: Mika, whom my wife and I have known for nine years, and Alon, whose parents emigrated from Russian Federation and who likes soccer very much". In the past, Putin has turned a blind eye to Israeli strikes on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria while making clear Russian Federation does not want Assad's rule endangered.

In the ensuing years, Israel has rarely commented on targeted strikes against Iranian convoys attempting to deliver weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon or airstrikes against Iranian military bases in Syria.

"Their use of military force in Syria would inevitably lead to an escalation of tensions across the entire Middle East region", he said.

Israel said a Syrian drone, apparently unarmed and designed for surveillance, entered its airspace and was downed with a Patriot missile near the Sea of Galilee on Wednesday.

Under Assad family rule, Syria held direct negotiations with Israel in the United States in 2000 and indirect talks mediated by Turkey in 2008. On July 6, Israel struck a Syrian post that it said had shelled the Golan buffer zone.

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