An Israeli drone flying over Turkey was nearly intercepted by Turkish aerial defense forces, an Istanbul-based media outlet reported on Tuesday.
“The Israeli ‘Heron’ drone was detected spying on military headquarters in Turkey’s southern Hatay province,” the report stated, adding that “the aircraft hovered over the Turkish forces in order to capture images of missile batteries and radar equipment.”
A Turkish officer, who reportedly noticed a bright light in the sky, asked a senior sergeant to confirm the identity of the object. When they received confirmation, the soldiers abandoned their post for fear of an attack.
Meanwhile, the report claimed the Turkish radar continued to monitor the unmanned aerial vehicle, while the Turkish army waited for authorization to shoot it down.
The report stated that “by the time the order was given, the drone had already left the area.”
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit refused to comment on the Turkish report.
The IDF maintains full coordination with the Turkish army regarding all flights in the eastern Mediterranean region. Turkey has also purchased from Israel 10 drones of the same kind in recent years.
The Heron drone is designed for prolonged flights at medium altitude. During its flight testing, the aircraft preformed a 52 hour flight, but its operational flight time is much lower due to the heavy weight of the cargo.