Syrian state media on Monday released images of an Israeli drone that landed in Quneitra, not far from the border separating Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
The photos of the unmanned aerial vehicle which were unveiled show Hebrew writing and stickers indicating that the “Skylark” drone was property of the IDF.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), quoting a military source, reported that the Skylark 1 drone was flying above the village of Hadar when it was shot down.
An IDF spokesperson denied the report on Monday morning, saying that it had no information about a UAV being present in the area at the time of the reported incident.
SANA posted photos of a UAV featuring labels in Hebrew.
Kuneitra has seen heavy fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels including al-Qaida-linked fighters.
Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the latter's nearly four-year civil war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their long-time foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.
The drone is operated by Sky Rider, a special forces unit operating from within the Artillery Corps which has been at the forefront of IDF operations in the West Bank. The outfit's "Skylark" drones can be carried into the field then subsequently set up and launched by its operators.
Those same operators then control the drone and provide real-time support to troops conducting operations on the ground, without delays incurred from coordination with drones operated by the air force from remote bases.
The Skylark was a key component in the army’s search for the three Jewish teenagers who were kidnapped and murdered by Palestinians near Hebron this past summer.
The close surveillance can alert operators conducting an arrest of approaching rioters or an escaping suspect.
Sky Rider's drones can hover for up to two hours, at varying heights and its small size means that it can’t be seen or heard, since its engine is electric and quiet. Those being watched don’t know it is there.
The Sky Rider is produced by Elbit Systems Ltd.
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