IDF: Gunfire from Syria aimed at military drone operating along border
Tanks return machine gun fire at source of shooting, a week after army dropped threatening flyers in area
Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.
Gunfire from southern Syria was directed at an Israeli military drone operating above the border in the Golan Heights on Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said.
According to the IDF, the drone was conducting “routine surveillance activity” and landed safely, without any damage being caused by the light arms fire.
The IDF said tanks returned machine gun fire at the area in southern Syria where the gunfire was detected.
Syrian media did not immediately comment on the incident.
Last week, the Israeli military dropped flyers in southern Syria, warning Syrian soldiers against cooperating with the Iran-backed Hezbollah terror group in the area.
The IDF has repeatedly accused Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s military of actively assisting Hezbollah and warned it against this, both through flyers dropped along the border and through overt, public appeals.
طائرات مسيرة #إسرائيلية تلقي منشورات ورقية على تل أحمر غربي وعلى نقاط قوات النظام المنتشرة على طريق بلدات كودنة والاصبح والعشة بريف القنيطرة الجنوبي
وتهدد نظام الأسد بشكل مباشر بسبب تعوانه مع حزب الله وتسهيل له الطرقات في المحافظة القنيطرة #سوريا pic.twitter.com/OKEzoSYQsk
— Nour Abo Hasan (@nourabohsn) May 16, 2023
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria in recent years, saying it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for Iran-backed groups, chief among them Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.
Israel has also carried out several strikes along the border targeting Hezbollah and Iranian efforts to entrench themselves in the country.
Israel says it is trying to prevent Iran, one of the Syrian government’s key allies in the 12-year-old civil war, from gaining a permanent military foothold on its doorstep.
During a conference on Monday, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate warned that Hezbollah’s leader was “close to making a mistake” that could spark a regional war, while warning that the conflict between Israel and Iran was becoming increasingly direct.