BEIRUT

Middle East

Jordan downs drone near Syria border: security official

Israeli army's Skylark I unmanned drone aircraft, which is used for monitoring purposes, in launched on July 16, 2014 over an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ

AMMAN: Jordan shot down a drone Friday as it flew over the northeastern region of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, a security official said.

In the first such incident since the conflict started in neighbouring Syria in 2011, "the Jordanian armed forces shot down an unidentified drone with a missile as it flew over Mafraq," the official told AFP.

"It was a violation of Jordan's airspace. Jordan will take measures at a high level after identifying the drone."

The official said the drone flew near the Zaatari refugee camp, which is home to around 100,000 Syrian refugees.

"There were no injuries. The armed forces sealed off the area where the drone was shot down by a surface-to-air missile and have begun an investigation to identify the drone," he said.

A witness said he "heard a loud explosion near Zaatari" before seeing "an unidentified object" fall from the sky.

Jordan is currently home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, many of whom live in the north of the country.

 

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