IDF Downs Hostile Drone in Israeli Airspace Over Golan Heights (VIDEO)
The Israeli army said on Sunday that the Air Force had “successfully intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that breached Israel airspace above the border with Syria near Quneitra.
“The vehicle was targeted and destroyed by a ‘Patriot’ surface to air missile,” according to the army.
“In spite of the IDF’s sensitivity to recent occurrences in the proximity of the border, we have repeatedly stated that we will respond to any breach of Israel’s sovereignty and will continue to act to maintain safety and security to the civilians of the State of Israel,” Spokesman Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said of the event.
IDF sources told the Associated Press they believed the drone was sent by Syria, and mistakenly entered Israeli airspace. It is unclear at this stage if the UAV was armed or what gear it carried, or its mission.
Residents of Tzfat told The Algemeiner that they saw a missile fired from nearby hit the drone.
“I looked up and saw a rocket hitting something; it was a big explosion,” according to Hendy Zupnick, referring to the Patriot, which was apparently deployed in the vicinity.
The Patriot ground-to-air missile system is designed to intercept aircraft and missiles at a distance up to 160 kilometers, according to the IDF.
Other residents noted significant air activity in the skies over the northern hilltop town, located north of the Sea of Galilee, and several dozen kilometers west of the border with Syria.
Another Tzfat resident, Chaim Gress, said on a local Facebook post, that “three or four people at the Rimonim pool witnessed the initial Patriot being fired from Canaan and heard the BOOM out of sight from the other side of the hill. The jets began flying over, they reported, mere seconds later.
“My son spotted all 3 drones that appeared in the sky immediately following the cessation of jet noise and I was able to see and track one very clearly over Tsfat. They are longish and tube-like with wings that I couldn’t see very well. Several people took out their cameras, as we expected to see the drones shot down any moment, but that never happened, causing us to believe that the drones are OURS and were continuing the vigilant search for enemy drones,” he surmised.
Watch an amateur video, that apparently shows the shoot-down: