New details have emerged regarding the incident this morning in which Israel intercepted a Syrian UAV: The IDF reportedly checked in with the Russians before activating the Patriot defense system to shoot down the drone. Only after the Russians insisted that they were not operating any aircraft in the area did the IDF respond.
The investigation of the incident earlier today (Saturday), in which an unmanned aerial vehicle from Syria was intercepted as it approached Israeli airspace, indicates that the UAV was actually manufactured in Russia.
As per the conditions of the military coordination between Israel and Russia, the IDF apparently contacted Russian headquarters before launching its Patriot defense system. Once the Russians claimed that they were not currently operating a UAV in the area, the IDF decided to intercept the aircraft.
“A UAV that approached the Golan Heights border was intercepted by the Patriot system,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit in a statement. According to initial reports, the UAV belonged to the Syrian Army and was being used for intelligence reconnaissance purposes. The drone crossed the demilitarized zone area when it was intercepted by the Patriot system but did not cross the Israeli border.
“The State of Israel views with great severity any violation of sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation,” said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman in response to the incident. “We consider the Syrian regime responsible for every shooting and violation of sovereignty, and call on it to restrain all elements operating from its territory.”