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Israel Downs Syrian Spy Drone over Golan Heights

Israel Downs Syrian Spy Drone over Golan Heights

Saturday, 11 November, 2017 - 13:15
A UN peacekeeper from the UNDOF force stands guard on a watch tower at the Quneitra Crossing between the Syrian and Israeli sides of the Golan Heights, on Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Israel’s military said it had shot down a Russian-made Syrian drone carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Saturday.

The drone was intercepted by a Patriot missile in the demilitarized zone between the Israeli- and Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan, a military spokeswoman said in a statement.

The zone has separated Israeli and Syrian forces since the ceasefire deal that followed their 1973 war.

"It was a reconnaissance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and not an attack UAV and we are checking whether there is any connection to Iran and Hezbollah," military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, told Reuters.

"The State of Israel regards with utmost seriousness any violation of its sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation," Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.

"We will not allow the consolidation of a Shi’ite axis in Syria" as a base for operations against Israel, he added, referring to the presence of Syrian regime allies Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the war-torn neighboring country.

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