Israel Shoots Down Hezbollah Drone in Syrian Airspace

Frederick Owens
September 22, 2017

The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) says it intercepted an Iranian-built drone launched from Syria by Hezbollah which illegally entered Israeli airspace on Tuesday. He said Israel made a decision to shoot it down after it entered the demilitarized zone between Syria and the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan.

"As we understand, it was on a reconnaissance mission along the border and the Golan Heights on behalf of Hezbollah", a military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus, told reporters.

In a statement, the army said it "will not allow any infiltration or approach toward the Golan Heights area by terrorist figures from Iran, Hezbollah, Shiite militias or worldwide jihad".

"A short while ago, the IDF intercepted a UAV that attempted to infiltrate Israeli airspace in the Golan Heights", tweeted Israel Defense Forces (IDF) early Monday.

The IDF will act severely and attack against any such actions, said Manelis, adding: "We will respond to every such attempt".

It is not verified whether the Iranian drone was armed with missiles.

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Israeli military and political leaders are anxious that as the Syrian civil war appears to be winding down, Iranian and Hezbollah forces will maintain a permanent presence in the neighboring country.

Fighter jets were also scrambled to the area, but did not engage the target.

Back in April 2015, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially admitted for the first time that the regime's military had conducted strikes in Syrian territory. He also is concerned about Tehran's support for anti-Israel groups like Hezbollah, and its development of long-range missiles capable of striking his country.

Israel has largely stayed out of the fighting in the Syrian civil war. It fears the group will gain sophisticated weapons and smuggle them from Syria into Lebanon.

Officials from Syria, Hezbollah and Iran had no immediate comment on the incident.

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