Israel says it has shot down a drone that was approaching its territory from the direction of Syria.
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) said Friday it had fired a Patriot Missile at the unmanned aircraft. This would be the second time this week the Israeli army has downed a Syrian aircraft. On Wednesday, the IDF said it shot down a Syrian drone after it flew 10 kilometers into Israeli airspace. That prompted Israel to conduct air strikes on three Syrian military positions the following day.
“The IDF is prepared for a wide variety of scenarios and is committed to upholding the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday. “Furthermore, the IDF condemns this breach of sovereignty and will continue to act in response to any attempts of aggression against Israeli civilians.”
In June, Israel fired a missile at a Syrian drone it said it was nearing its airspace. The missile did not hit the drone, but the drone withdrew from the area. And in February, Israel said it shot down an Iranian drone that had entered its airspace, leading it to bomb Iranian military forces positioned in Syria.
Syria and Israel signed a disengagement pact in 1974. Yet as the Syrian government — backed by Iran and Russia — has attempted to reclaim its territory from rebels along the nation’s southern border, tensions have become inflamed between the war-torn nation and its southern neighbor.
Wednesday’s incident took place as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow to discuss Syria and Israel with Russian President Vladimir Putin.