Israel Says a Drone Infiltrated Its Airspace From Lebanon

Israeli army says it was tracking the unmanned aerial vehicle before it returned to Lebanon

The Israeli-Lebanese border, December, 2018.
Gil Eliahu

An unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon, the Israeli army said on Wednesday.

The Israeli army said in a statement that the aircraft returned to Lebanon, adding that it was tracking the drone while it was inside Israeli airspace.

The incident comes after reports from Syria earlier on Wednesday said that the Syrian air force thwarted an Israeli attack on Tal al-Hara in southern Syria and shot down a number of missiles.

Israel does not usually comment on reports concerning its strikes in neighboring Syria, though it has recently acknowledged striking Iranian targets there.

Hours after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a message saying that Israel responds "decisively and forcibly to any attack against us."

"In a systematic and consistent manner we are working to prevent our enemies from establishing attack bases against us nearby," he said during a state memorial ceremony.

Located in Daraa Governorate, Tal al-Hara is considered as a strategic hill overlooking the occupied Golan Heights.

The missile attack resulted only in material damage and Israel then conducted an “electronic war” in which radars were subjected to interference, SANA added.

Last week, Syrian state media said Israeli missiles were fired toward a Syrian military base in Homs, a day after Israel confirmed it had struck Syrian targets on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire toward the Golan Heights.

Israeli intelligence assessments recently warned that Iran and the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah may initiate incidents that would lead to an escalation in the Golan Heights, as part of Tehran's efforts to combat U.S. sanctions and Israeli strikes against Iranian forces in Syria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.