IDF: Iranian Drone Shot Down in February Was Carrying Explosives

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
View of the remains of the F-16 plane that crashed near the Israeli town of Harduf in northern Israel, February 10. (Anat Hermony/Flash90)

The IDF said on Friday an Iranian drone it shot down over Israeli territory in February was armed with explosives and was meant to carry out an attack.

The IDF said that after analyzing the flight path and investigating the drone, it “concluded that the Iranian UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) was armed with explosives and was tasked to attack Israel.”

By intercepting the drone, the military said, the “combat helicopters prevented the attack Iran had hoped to carry out in Israel.”

“The UAV was identified and tracked by Israeli defense systems until its destruction, effectively eliminating any threat the Iranian UAV posed,” it said.

The drone was downed on Feb. 10 by an Israeli Apache helicopter over the northern town of Beit Shean. It had been sighted taking off from a base in Syria and was intercepted after it crossed into Israeli territory, the IDF said.

Iran at the time rejected as “ridiculous” the report that one of its drones had been intercepted.

Israeli planes then struck an Iranian installation in Syria from which, the IDF said, the unmanned aircraft had been operated.

An F-16, one of at least eight Israeli planes that had been dispatched, was hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile and crashed in northern Israel.