Israel jittery after drone enters airspace from Lebanon

Israel jittery after drone enters airspace from Lebanon
A drone which entered Israeli airspace before quickly returning to Lebanon caused panic in Israel on Wednesday.

2 min read
13 June, 2019
Israel's Air Force scrambled fighter jets in response to the drone [Getty]
A small drone entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon on Wednesday, the Israeli army said, triggering the air force to scramble fighter jets, local reports confirmed.

The drone quickly returned to Lebanese territory after entering Israel, Israel's military said in a statement.

"Moments ago, IDF troops spotted a drone from Lebanese territory that entered the airspace of the State of Israel and then returned to Lebanese territory. The drone was tracked by the troops," the army said in a statement.

The incident came after Syrian air defences claimed to have shot down Israeli missiles targeting the south of the country on Wednesday, with a monitor reported positions of the regime's Lebanese ally Hizballah had been hit.

The attack was launched in the early hours of the morning against the Tal al-Hara sector near the Golan Heights, according to official news agency SANA, which said there had been no casualties.

It did not specify what had been targeted.

SANA also accused Israel of conducting an "electronic war" and "jamming" Syrian radar.

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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said the strikes had targeted positions of the Hizballah Shia movement in two locations, but without causing any casualties.

"All the positions hit had the Lebanese Hizballah there," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

The missiles targeted Tal al-Hara, a hill in the southern province of Daraa where Hizballah has radars and the regime has air defence batteries, said the Observatory, which relies on sources inside Syria for its information.

It also targeted barracks for the Lebanese fighters in the abandoned town of Quneitra on the Syrian-controlled side of a demilitarised zone between both countries in the Golan.

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Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, targeting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the regime's allies Iran and Hizballah.

Earlier this month, Israel struck multiple positions held by regime forces over a period of 24 hours, killing 15 combatants according to the Observatory.

In January, it targeted Tehran military positions in Syria in what it said was a response to an Iranian missile strike from inside the country.

That attack killed 21, mostly Iranians.

Israel says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs Assad in the country's eight-year war, which has left more than 370,000 people dead and displaced millions.

Israel and Hizballah have fought several wars, the latest in 2006.

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