Monday, June 25

Is IDF now using armed drones rather than fighter jets against Syria?

If so, that would be an interesting development because it would suggest Syrian air defense had improved to the point where Israeli bombers would be taking a considerable risk to overfly Syrian air space. 

The question occurred to me while I read reports on what seems to have been attempted Israeli missile strikes today at or near the Damascus International Airport.

Israeli Missiles Land Near Damascus Airport - Reports
01:51 - June 26, 2019 (updated 03:36)

According to reports, two Israeli missiles landed in Damascus International Airport in Syria late Monday afternoon.

The Israeli Air Force was attempting to target an Iranian cargo plane that was unloading at Damascus International Airport, according to reports. 

[Unconfirmed claim. From AMN report linked below, filed at 2:20 AM 6/26:  "A Syrian military source confirmed that the Damascus Airport area was targeted, but could not verify the reports about the Iranian plane being targeted."]                                                                         ]
However, other reports cite the target of the missiles as a military installation not far from the airport. Two missiles were apparently used. [Which other reports, Sputnik?]

There were explosions in Damascus and air defenses are engaging targets. It isn't clear if any missiles were intercepted, however.

In the aftermath of the strike a powerful blast was reported in the north of the Al Quneitra province, which is to the southwest of Damascus, closer to Israel. Some reports say the explosion came from the interception of an Israeli drone by Syria's air defense system, Al Masdar News reports.

The Israeli Air Force hit multiple targets in Syria last month in what it said was a 'retaliatory' measure amid an alleged Iranian military buildup in the Arab Republic.

The images provided by satellite imaging company ImageSat International (ISI), yet to be independently verified, offer an overview of some of the damage caused by Israeli bombing last month of what are claimed to be Iranian military positions. [See Sputnik site for photos]

On Sunday, the IDF reported that they had fired a Patriot missile into Syrian airspace, targeting a drone approaching from Syria."We will not allow violation of our aerial sovereignty," the IDF stated.

[Disputed claim. From RT: "A pro-Damascus commander, however, said the unmanned aerial vehicle that was engaged in operations in southern Syria never intended to cross into Israel and managed to retreat without being hit. "]

According to [Israel's] Haaretz newspaper, prior to the launch, residents of the Upper Galilee in northern Israel witnessed an explosion and a smoke trail they had supposedly seen in the sky.

"A Patriot missile was launched at an unmanned aerial vehicle approaching from Syria. The drone turned away from the border as a result without being hit," the IDF said in a press release.

[END REPORT]                                                                                                 


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