MIDDLE EAST

Israel downs Syrian drone over Golan Heights: army

Israeli forces at a border fence between the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights and Syria. (Reuters)

The Israeli army said it had 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 demilitarized zone between the Israeli- and Syrian-controlled parts of the Golan, a military spokeswoman said in a statement.

Israel and Syria are still technically at war, though the armistice line on the Golan Heights had remained largely quiet for decades until civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

In September, Israel’s military shot down what it said was an Iranian-made drone operated by Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on a reconnaissance mission over the Golan.

Israel has also seen regular spillover fire from the Syrian conflict and acknowledges carrying out dozens of air strikes to stop advanced arms deliveries to its arch-foe Hezbollah.

The Lebanese militant group is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has fought alongside his troops against rebel forces.

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Last Update: Saturday, 11 November 2017 KSA 13:39 - GMT 10:39
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