Israel has confirmed that one of its drones “fell” in Syrian territory yesterday and “the circumstances are being examined,” a statement by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.
The announcement was made after media outlets reported downing a drone in the area of Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights. Images of the damaged drone were also released by Hezbollah linked media channels.
The incident marks a period of escalating tensions between Israel and Syria. Last Sunday, referring to the claim that the Syrian army shot down an Israeli fighter jet over Palmyra last Friday, Syria’s Bashar Ja’afari, the country’s permanent representative at the UN, said that Israel’s freedom “to do as it wishes over Syrian skies is over!”
The Israeli military denied the claim, but in the aftermath of Friday’s events Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems “without the slightest hesitation” if Israel’s aircraft were targeted again.
Israel’s ambassador in Moscow was summoned following last week’s airstrikes near the historic Syrian city of Palmyra. The Russian ministry “expressed concern” about Israeli operations taking place in such close proximity to Russian backed forces.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is said to have asked Russia – one of the Syrian regime’s main backers – to ensure Iran does not gain a foothold in the area, during a recent visit to Moscow.
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) March 21, 2017
Israel has been conducting attacks on the Golan Heights targeting Hezbollah and Assad-affiliated groups throughout the course of the Syrian Civil War.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)