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Israel fires at, misses Syrian drone in its airspace

2 anti-aircraft missiles launched at intruding aircraft, which escapes intact; IDF reportedly scrambles fighter jets

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

US Army officers stand at a Patriot anti-missile battery site during a joint Israeli-US air defense exercise in Tel Aviv, in 2009. (photo credit: Ziv Koren/Flash90)
US Army officers stand at a Patriot anti-missile battery site during a joint Israeli-US air defense exercise in Tel Aviv, in 2009. (photo credit: Ziv Koren/Flash90)

Israel fired anti-aircraft missiles at an unmanned aerial vehicle that crossed into its airspace from Syria on Sunday afternoon, but failed to bring down the intruding aircraft.

The IDF said in a statement that neither of the two Patriot missiles launched managed to hit the drone, which returned to Syrian airspace.

The Israeli Air Force scrambled fighter jets in the Golan Heights following the launch, the Ynet news website reported.

The launches triggered air raid alarms across northern Israel. No rockets were known to have been fired into Israeli territory, however.

Israel has shot down drone and fighter aircraft that have flown near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights several times in recent years. The IDF downed a drone in August 2014 and a Syrian fighter aircraft in September of the same year.

A puff of smoke seen from northern Israel after a Patriot missile was shot at a UAV from Syria on July 17, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2/Twitter)
A puff of smoke seen from northern Israel after a Patriot missile was shot at a UAV from Syria on July 17, 2016. (screen capture: Channel 2/Twitter)

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