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Israel confirms downing of its military drone in Syria

Images of the plane were aired on Syrian TV and on social media sites

March 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

The Israeli military confirmed that one of its drones “fell” in Syrian territory yesterday and “the circumstances are being examined”.

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 channels.

This incident marks a period of escalating tensions between Israel and Syria. Last Sunday, Bashar Ja’afari, the country’s permanent representative at the UN, said that Israel’s freedom to act in Syria’s skies is over, referring to the claim, which the Israeli military denied, that the Syrian army shot down an Israeli fighter jet over Palmyra last Friday.

Read: ‘Game is over’ as Moscow summons Israeli ambassador

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 Benjamin 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.

Israel has been conducting attacks on the Golan Heights targeting Hezbollah and Assad-affiliated groups over the course of Syria’s Civil War.