Photo Credit: Yissachar Ruas / TPS
Israeli Air Force F-16

The Israeli Air Force attacked at least three Syrian regime military outposts in the wee hours of Thursday near the border town of Quneitra, site of the sole crossing point with Israel.

The air strikes were carried out hours after a Syrian drone infiltrated Israeli air space from Syrian territory near Lake Kinneret. The Israel Air Force shot it down with a Patriot missile, sending parts of the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) falling into the waters of the lake, also known as the Sea of Galilee.

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Syrian state media claimed the country’s “military air defenses thwarted missiles fired by Israeli aircraft at army positions in Quneitra province.” The attack, which was carried out near the village of Hader in the Syrian Golan Heights, damaged the military posts but injured no one, according to a military source quoted by the Syrian state news agency SANA.

The Israel Air Force said it waited about 15 minutes — allowing it to travel about 10 kilometers (six miles) into Israeli territory — before shooting down the drone, in order to ascertain precisely who had launched and was operating the equipment. Instead, the air force scrambled four fighter jets and two attack helicopters to respond to the threat.

Israel coordinates its military activities with Russia in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Moscow meeting with President Vladimir Putin when the drone entered Israeli territory, discussing Israel’s unwillingness to accept Iran’s military presence in Syria.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.