At 1:18 PM on Sunday, the IDF fired a Patriot missile at an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) that was flying from Syria towards Israel.
Moments ago, a Patriot aerial defense system missile was launched towards an unmanned aerial vehicle approaching the Israeli border from Syria. As a result, the vehicle retreated from the border. A hit was not identified
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) June 24, 2018
Though a hit was not identified, the UAV was prevented from entering Israeli airspace.
Sputnik News, a Russian news service, claimed the drone was engaged in ops in Southern Syria and was not en route to enter Israeli airspace.
BREAKING: Pro-Assad commander: #Drone targeted by #IDF patriot missile was engaged in ops in southern #Syria – reports https://t.co/pTLL6sdqSV pic.twitter.com/R4V0BB8hr2
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) June 24, 2018
Syrian troops have been engaged in military operations against rebel troops in southern Syria recently, supported by Russian military and airforce. Though Israel and Russia have mechanisms in place to prevent inadvertent confrontations but clashes have occurred nonetheless.
In July 2016, a Russian drone entered Israeli airspace but returned to Syria after three Patriot missiles failed to bring it down. Last year, at least three drones entering Israeli airspace from Syria were shot down.
In the most serious case, in February, an Iranian drone armed with missiles launched from inside Syria entered Israeli airspace and was immediately shot down by an Israeli Apache helicopter.
“The IDF will not allow a violation of the aerial sovereignty of the State of Israel and will take action against any attempt to harm its citizens,” the IDF said in a statement on Sunday.
Video of the launch of a patriot missile, possibly towards a UAV that tried to breach #Israel|i skies from #Syria (via @OrHeller) pic.twitter.com/mMFe1efoqr
— Michael A. Horowitz (@michaelh992) June 24, 2018