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Israel Says It Downed Russian-Made Syrian Spy Drone Over Golan Heights

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Israeli forces look out over the border fence between the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights and Syria

The investigation of the incident earlier today (Saturday), in which an unmanned aerial vehicle from Syria was intercepted as it approached Israeli airspace, indicates that the UAV was actually manufactured in Russian Federation.

"A UAV that approached the Golan Heights border was intercepted by the Patriot system", said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit in a statement.

IDF officials were quoted as saying that they believed the UAV had been sent to gather information about the Quneitra area, along the Israel-Syria border. "We view the Syrian regime as responsible and call on it to restrain all the elements operating from its territory". In a statement, the IDF said that any attempts to invade Israeli airspace would be "responded to appropriately" by the army.

Israel fears an eventual Assad victory could leave Iran with a permanent garrison in Syria, extending a threat posed from neighbouring Lebanon by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and has been lobbying Russian Federation and the United States for reassurances that Iranian and Hezbollah forces will not be allowed to deploy near its border or set up bases within Syria. "We will not allow the Shiite axis to establish a front command center in Syria".

The Israeli military did not provide any immediate evidence that the drone was Russian-made or belonged to Syria.

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