Israel shoots down Syrian drone with Patriot missile

Military officials said they shot down a Syrian drone Wednesday that flew several miles into Israeli territory over the Sea of Galilee.

Israeli defense forces said Wednesday they shot down an unmanned Syrian drone with a U.S.-supplied Patriot missile. Officials said the drone flew over the border from Jordan and stayed in flight for 16 minutes. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE
Israeli defense forces said Wednesday they shot down an unmanned Syrian drone with a U.S.-supplied Patriot missile. Officials said the drone flew over the border from Jordan and stayed in flight for 16 minutes. File Photo by Yonhap/EPA-EFE

Israeli officials said the unmanned drone triggered rocket alert sirens in Golan Heights and Jordan Valley near the Israel-Syria border, and was flown into Israel through Jordan.
The drone flew for 16 minutes before it was intercepted.

After it was shot by a U.S.-supplied Patriot missile, drone fragments fell into the water.

“The Patriot aerial defense system identified the threat and tracked it until its interception,” an IDF spokesperson said. “The IDF will not allow any violation of Israeli airspace and will act against any attempt to hurt its civilians.”

The shoot-down came weeks after Israeli forces fired at another drone from Syria. The IDF has not yet said exactly who flew either drone.

“We are prepared for the possibility of Israeli sovereignty being violated as a result of the fighting in Syria,” IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said. “Our intention is not to allow the 1974 agreement to be violated and not to create a risk for the State of Israel.”

The confrontation occurred as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He told reporters beforehand he was meeting with Putin to discuss Syria, Iran and “Israel’s security needs.”

By Sommer Brokaw