Israeli drone crashes. Russia fails to de-escalate

The IDF Tuesday confirmed that an Israeli miniature Skylark drone had crashed over a technical fault Sunday, March 19, in the same Quneitra area of the Golan as the attack which killed a Syrian soldier. Hizballah claimed earlier that the drone was shot down by the Syrian army and published photos of drone fragments with Hebrew writing.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the publicity given by the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hizballah to the incident – beating Israel to the draw – seriously pricked Moscow’s efforts, with Damascus’ compliance, to cool the crisis that was developing after Israeli planes struck a Hizballah target near the northern Syrian town of Palmyra last Friday, March 17.
The Russian government, according to DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources, made it clear to Bashar Assad that he had better hold back from a heated response to the Israeli air strikes. If he decided to play with Israeli fire, he was warned, he need not expect Russia to intervene in his defense.


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