A photo of an Israeli-made drone flying over Syria set Syrian social media buzzing Sunday, Ynet reported. According to The Jerusalem Post, Syrian opposition forces have claimed that Syrian President Bashar Assad is using the drones to collect information on the insurgents. Official Syrian media channels have yet to comment on the incident.
Since the same model of drone has been sold by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to Russia, it has been suggested that Assad obtained the drones from the Russians, who have been supporting Assad against rebel forces. The Assad regime is allied with Iran and Lebanese-based Hezbollah, two entities bent on Israel’s destruction, which lends a certain irony to the situation.
The medium-sized drone depicted in the image is designed for reconnaissance and intelligence-gathering missions over a range of dozens to hundreds of kilometers. It was spotted by activists in the coastal Latakia province, who said the Israeli technology was being employed to gather information on rebel positions across the country. A similar claim was made in 2012, when Turkish sources told London based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat Israeli drones had been spotted on Syrian soil, “gathering information on rebel activities.”
A delicate ceasefire aimed at ending the five-year civil conflict has been in place in Syria for just two days, and already nine claims of violations have been made by Russian monitors. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautiously welcomed the ceasefire, saying Sunday, “Anything that stops the horrible destruction is important, but first and foremost any settlement must include an end to Iranian aggression towards Israel from Syrian territory.”