Syria had reportedly captured and dismantled a drone rigged with cluster bombs near the border with the Israeli Golan Heights. According to reports, the Syrian forces found Israeli-made vehicles and materiel in Bariqa, a village near the deserted border city of Quneitra.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said it was not clear if Syrian troops or members of Hezbollah controlled the drone. Hezbollah has fighters in different parts of Syria where they are fighting on the side of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. The incident happened later when another drone was destroyed over the Damascus suburb of Aqraba, in the month of September 2019. Nobody has claimed to take responsibility for the drones yet.

Syria captures explosive rigged drone

A showdown of drones

According to Israel Defense Forces, Aqrabah was the site of an Israeli airstrike in September that targeted Iranian-aligned operatives planning to send attack drones into Israel. In neighboring Lebanon, a government investigation concluded on September 19, 2019, that two Israeli drones were on an attack mission when they crashed in the capital, one of them was armed with 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) of explosives.

Israeli media have also reported that the drones in Beirut targeted an office housing a “planetary mixer,” a large industrial machine that is critical to making precision-guided missiles. Hezbollah denies it produces such weapons in Lebanon. In a separate report, the Syrian authorities found weapons, ammunition, food and vehicles made in Israel in the village of Briqah, in southern Quneitra. In addition to bullets and magazines, photos released by the state-run news agency show Hebrew-labeled packages of food.

Conducting of airstrikes in Syria aimed at preventing alleged Iranian arms transfers to Hezbollah, have been finally acknowledged by Israel. Notwithstanding in August, Israel was believed to have widened its campaign and struck Iranian or Hezbollah targets in Iraq and Lebanon as well. The use of drones in the Syrian civil war has greatly escalated. Drones are being sought as a prime weapon of choice by both the rebel groups and the forces fighting them.