The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday said a Patriot interceptor missile was fired toward a drone approaching Israel from Syria, as sirens sounded in northern Israel.
The rocket siren alert system was activated in the southern Golan Heights and northern Jordan Valley regions, and residents reported seeing a trail of smoke in the sky as well as hearing explosions.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The army did not say whether the unmanned vehicle was hit. It was also unclear whether the drone had crossed into Israeli territory.
The incident comes just over two weeks after the IDF said it launched a Patriot interceptor missile at a drone that was heading toward Israeli airspace from Syria, prompting the incoming unmanned aerial vehicle to beat a retreat. The IDF did not identify the operator of the drone.
On Monday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman toured the Golan Heights, where he threatened Syria with a “strong response” should it violate a delicate decades-old ceasefire agreement in the region.
Liberman’s warning came hours after Israeli planes reportedly bombed an air base in central Syria used by Iranian militia fighters in the latest confrontation between the countries.
Last year, the Israel Defense Forces used the Patriot missile defense system on at least three occasions in order to shoot down incoming drones from Syria.
In April 2017, a Syrian military drone was shot down by a Patriot missile. In September of that year, the American-made system also intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle that was flown by the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group. And in November 2017, the military shot down another Syrian military drone that approached Israeli airspace.