The IDF confirmed on Thursday that Israel fired a Patriot anti-ballistic missile at a target in the Golan Heights, Israel’s northern region bordering Syria. Israeli media said residents in the northern Israeli town of Safed reported seeing two missiles being launched and of explosions occurring afterwards. It was initially unclear whether the target, which media said was an unmanned drone, was shot down over Syria or Israeli-controlled territory.

The interception comes hours after Israel allegedly struck a Hezbollah arms depot near Damascus International Airport, which led to condemnation by Russia which called it a “gross violation of Syrian sovereignty.” Israel has in the past used the Patriot system against suspicious aerial vehicles, most recently in July 2016 when two Patriot missiles were fired at a suspicious drone that crossed into Israeli airspace from Syria. Both missed their target and the unmanned aircraft returned to Syria. READ MORE