A drone that crossed into northern Israel last month belonged to Russia — not Hezbollah, as was initially suspected — the Haaretz newspaper reported Sunday.
The unmanned aerial vehicle entered Israeli airspace from Syria on July 17. The Israel Defense Forces attempted to shoot down the aircraft three times, but failed.
Israel’s security services initially suspected the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah was responsible for the breach; however, Russian officials admitted to their Israeli counterparts that the drone was, in fact, theirs, the newspaper reported.
While the Russian officials claimed the incident was the result of “human error,” it is possible the Russian military was testing Israel’s aerial defense capabilities.
Though Russian aircraft have crossed from Syria into Israel before, it was the first known case where the IDF retaliated to the breach.
The army’s aerial defense unit fired two Patriot surface-to-air missiles at the UAV, and a third attempt was made to bring it down with an air-to-air missile fired by an Israeli fighter jet.
SOURCE: The Times of Israel