Israel downs Russian-made Syrian drone in occupied Golan Heights
Israel's army shot down a Russian-made Syrian drone carrying out a reconnaissance mission over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Saturday.
The drone was intercepted by a Patriot Missile in the demilitarised zone between the Israeli-occupied and Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan Heights, an Israeli army spokeswoman said.
"The State of Israel regards with utmost seriousness any violation of its sovereignty and will respond with force to any provocation," Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.
"We will not allow the consolidation of a Shiite axis in Syria" as a base for operations against Israel, he added, referring to the presence of Syrian regime allies Iran and Lebanese militant group Hizballah in the war-torn neighbouring country.
In September, Israel's army shot down what it said was an Iranian made drone operated by Hizballah on a reconnaissance mission over the Golan.
Tensions on the border between Israel and Syria have stepped up in recent years, largely due to the involvement of Iran and Hizballah in Syria's war.
Israel's air force claims it has in the past year carried out around 100 strikes against arms convoys belonging to Iran and Hizballah.
The Lebanese militant group is a key backer of Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad and has fought alongside his troops against rebel forces.
Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.
The two countries remain technically at war, although before the eruption of the conflict inside Syria in 2011 the armistice line remained largely quiet.