Israel's Patriot missile defense system fired at a Syrian drone "flying over the demilitarised zone," the military said.

A rebel fighter walks near what purportedly are the remains of a Syrian regime drone that was shot down by Israel the day before, in a field near Barqah, a few dozen km from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 12, 2018.
A rebel fighter walks near what purportedly are the remains of a Syrian regime drone that was shot down by Israel the day before, in a field near Barqah, a few dozen km from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 12, 2018. (AFP)

Israel fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that approached the country's border from Syria for the second time this week, the military said on Friday.

The defense system was fired at a Syrian drone "flying over the demilitarised zone," the military said, adding that it was "most likely intercepted."

It said the military will "operate against attempts to violate the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, threats to Israeli sovereignty and any attempt to harm Israeli civilians."

Honor the agreement

Israeli leaders have recently reiterated that they expect Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad and his Iranian-backed allies to honor the agreement, which sets out a demilitarised zone along the frontier and limits the number of forces each side can deploy within 25 km (15 miles) of the zone.

On Wednesday, a drone traveled about 10 km (6.2 miles) inside Israeli territory before it was shot down. That incident came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Vladimir Putin about Syria and Iran. 

Russia has been a key ally of the Syrian regime in its civil war. Israel's main concern is keeping archenemy Iran, an Assad ally, as far away from its border as possible — along with its proxy, the militia of Lebanon's Hezbollah.

The Israeli military targeted Syrian regime forces' positions on Thursday in response.

Last month, Israel fired a missile at a drone that approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier, and in February it shot down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace. It bombed Iranian targets in Syria in response.

Source: AP