Netanyahu's warning following Iranian drone intrusion

PM makes clear Israel will not tolerate attempt to undermine sovereignty. 'We proved we can unite to ward off our enemies.'

Mordechai Sones ,

IDF vigilant at Syrian border
IDF vigilant at Syrian border
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the opening of this morning's weekly cabinet meeting on the northern border situation.

"Yesterday we dealt severe blows to the forces of Iran and Syria and made it clear to all that our rules of engagement have not changed in any way," Netanyahu said.

He added that Israel would respond to any attempt to threaten its sovereignty. "We will continue to strike at any attempt to harm us ... It has been our policy and this will remain our policy ... I am proud of the citizens of Israel ... Yesterday we proved that when it comes to the test we can unite to fight our enemies and protect the country."

Netanyahu said he had spoken with one of the wounded pilots before the cabinet meeting. "I spoke a few minutes ago with the injured navigator, and was happy to hear that he's standing on his feet in every sense of the word, and I was happy to hear that the pilot had improved.

"We salute our pilots, our soldiers, our commanders, and the Chief of Staff. They are guarding the State of Israel and we're proud of them," the Prime Minister concluded.

Early Saturday morning, an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria, remaining in Israel some 90 seconds before the IAF shot it down. In response to the provocation, Israel attacked the drone's command center. During the IAF operation, Syrian surface-to-air missiles downed an Israeli F-16I fighter jet, injuring two pilots who were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa. One was seriously injured and another lightly injured.

It was reported this morning that Lieutenant Colonel L, commander of the 113th Squadron, was the pilot who intercepted the Iranian drone on Saturday morning. "The squadron was dispatched with the task of protecting the country's skies. We identified it as an Iranian drone and when it crossed the border we downed it in Israeli territory. The squadron is ready and prepared for whatever mission it is given," he said.

Brigadier General Tomer Bar said Saturday night that the Iranian drone had been in Israel's air space for about a minute-and-a-half and that it was an advanced model.

Iranian unmanned drone at Iran's Hi-Tech Expo, Damascus

In pictures published by the IDF Spokesperson's Office, it is possible to see the T4 Syrian Air Force base near Tadmor, which Iran has begun to use as its base for the past few months. "Iran and the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards have been operating there for a long time, backed by Syrian army forces and with the approval of the Syrian regime," the IDF spokesman said.

Drones made by Iran's Revolutionary Guard seen at exhibition in Tehran