Israeli Patriot Missile Shoots Down Syrian UAV

An Israeli soldier walks past a Patriot missile defense battery positioned on Mt. Carmel in northern Israel. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israel fired a Patriot missile at a unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that was headed into Israeli airspace from Syria on Shabbos morning. The UAV was hit and exploded over Syrian territory, and fell in several pieces inside Syria. Channel Two news on Motzoei Shabbos reported that the IDF had contacted sources in Russia in order to ascertain that the UAV did not belong to Russia before shooting it down. Residents reported hearing the explosion, but no instructions to enter shelters were issued, and security officials assured residents that they could continue with their regular routine.

In a statement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel “considered the incident a serious violation of our sovereignty and will respond in an appropriate manner to such provocations. We see the Syrian government as responsible for any such violations, and we call on it to restrain the forces that operate in the area. We will not allow the establishment of a Shiite front on our border.”

IDF officials were quoted as saying that they believed the UAV had been sent to gather information about the Quneitra area, along the Israel-Syria border. In a statement, the IDF said that any attempts to invade Israeli airspace would be “responded to appropriately” by the army.

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