New photos released by Syrian opposition activists revealed that the Israeli military shot down a Forpost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Russian Aerospace Forces over the village of Burayqah in the southern Syrian province of al-Quneitra on July 13.
Remains of a Russian #Forpost drone (licensed copy @ILAerospaceIAI #Searcher II) that was shot down by #Israel the day before, in a field near #Barqah, a few dozen kilometres from the Israeli-occupied #Golan Heights on July 12, 2018. #Syria pic.twitter.com/nopA7leStg
— Djoker (@Djoker_Twit) July 15, 2018
When the incident took place, the Israeli military claimed that its Patriot air defense system had targeted an UAV of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) over the over the demilitarized zone. Furthermore, the Israeli military vowed to “continue to operate against attempts to violate the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement and threats to Israeli sovereignty or civilians.”
Many local observers noted that the Israeli military didn’t retaliate after the incident the way it did when a Syrian UAV was shot down over the occupied Golan Heights on July 11. The Israeli media didn’t also talk about incident in details.
The Fropost UAV is a licensed copy of the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Searcher UAV. Dozens of Fropost UAVs, which were locally manufactured in Russia, are currently in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.
This incident was likely a result of a failure in the de-escalation hotline between Russia and Israel, which was established only days after the beginning of the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015.
Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the Russian news outlet Sputnik on May 5 that the hotline had prevented a Russian jet that almost entered Israel’s airspace from potentially being shot down on previous occasions.