Israel strikes Syrian posts after drone incursion

Israel strikes Syrian posts after drone incursion
The airstrikes hit the southwestern Quneitra province that borders on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
2 min read
12 July, 2018
Israel's F-15 jet takes off during a military drill at the Ovda base [Getty]

Israel struck three Syrian posts early on Thursday after an unmanned drone entered its airspace from the neighbouring country the previous day.

Israel's military said the strikes came "in response to the infiltration of the Syrian UAV," or unmanned aerial vehicle.

Syrian state media said Israeli jets fired on military positions in the southwestern Quneitra province, inflicting material damage. The province borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

On Wednesday, Israel fired a Patriot missile  and took down the unmanned drone shortly after it infiltrated Israeli airspace. There were no reports of injuries over the drone's incursion.

That incident came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran.

Russia has been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's key ally in the seven-year-long civil war.

Israel's main concern is to keep arch-enemy Iran, also an Assad backer, as far away from its border as possible - along with its proxy, the Lebanese Hizballah.

Israel has repeatedly said it will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence on its doorstep in neighbouring Syria.

The military said it will "continue to operate determinedly and decisively against any attempt to breach Israeli sovereignty and will act against any attempt to hurt its civilians".

Last month, Israel fired a missile at a drone that approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier, and in February Israel shot down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace. It bombed Iranian targets in Syria in response to that incident.

In recent weeks, Israel's military has been on high alert over the Syrian regime's offensive in the southern and southwestern parts of the country. Tel Aviv has warned that ceasefire lines with its neighbour Syria must be respected. 

Israel seized a large swathe of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it. The Israeli-occupied Golan Heights has never been recognised by the international community. 

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