Patriot missile intercepts aircraft flying over Israel’s Golan Heights

It is unclear if an aircraft flying over Israel’s Golan Heights region, and successfully intercepted by Israel, was Syrian.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said a Patriot missile successfully intercepted and downed a foreign aircraft on Thursday night that was flying over the Golan Heights region near the Israel-Syrian border.

The IDF has not confirmed whether the aircraft was Syrian. It is also unclear if the aircraft was hit over Israeli territory. Israeli media have reported accounts of residents in the Israeli town of Safed, located a short distance from the Golan Heights region, witnessing the launch of two missiles and subsequently hearing explosions.

As recently as last month, Israel deployed its advanced Arrow missile defense system to intercept several Syrian rockets aimed at Israeli aircraft flying over Syria.

“Overnight, March 17, 2017, IAF aircrafts targeted several targets in Syria,” the IDF confirmed at the time. “Several anti-aircraft missiles were launched from Syria following the mission and IDF Aerial Defense Systems intercepted one of the missiles.”

Israel’s interception of an aircraft over the Golan Heights on Thursday evening occurred against the backdrop of an alleged Israeli strike on Thursday morning of a Hezbollah weapons cache near Damascus International Airport. Reports circulated in Arab media of fatalities, including a senior Hezbollah commander and members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), as well as nine wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile, a senior Syrian official threatened retaliation for the alleged Israeli strike, telling Lebanese news site el-Nashra that “the Syrian army and its allies will work to thwart the new Israeli plot on the occupied Golan border and will continue to destroy the enemy’s collaborators.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News