By Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel
An Israel Air Force Patriot missile shot down an unmanned drone this afternoon (Sunday, August 31) that entered Israeli airspace near the Syrian border town of Kuneitra. As the Syrian civil war continues to spill over in the north, the IDF warns that it will not tolerate violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), whose origin has yet to be determined, was intercepted in the skies above the Syria-Israel border, in the same area that in recent days has seen several spillover incidents involving damage to Israeli property and the injury of several Israeli citizens.
On Wednesday a total of six mortar shells from Syria landed in the Israeli-held Golan Heights, including one that injured an IDF doctor at an observation post at the border. The same day, a tank shell injured an Israeli civilian and caused damage to a vineyard. Damage to vehicles was also reported.
In response, the IDF launched airstrikes at Syrian military targets believed to be the source of the fire.
Last Sunday night five rockets were fired from Syria into the Golan Heights. No damage was reported. In June, in what appeared to be a deliberate attack by Syrian forces, a 15-year-old Israeli boy was killed when an explosive device was detonated as his vehicle passed near the border fence. Israel responded by striking 9 targets inside Syria, as part of a policy of holding the Syrian government responsible for any attacks or incidents originating from Syrian territory.
Last April, the IAF shot down a UAV belonging to Hizbollah over the waters off the northern city of Haifa. During this summer’s Operation Protective Edge, drones launched by Hamas were shot down over the coastal towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon, with the terror group releasing photographs of Israeli territory that they claimed were taken by the drones.
In 2012, an Iranian-made drone was shot down in the South Hebron Hills area of Judea. The IDF believes that Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah ordered the deployment of the drone in order to photograph the Dimona nuclear reactor.
Tazpit News Agency