The Israel Defence Force (IDF) say they have deployed their Patriot anti-ballistic missile system to destroy an incoming target from Syrian territory.

The projectile, which was only described as a "target" by the IDF, was travelling towards Israeli territory, from the Golan Heights, on Thursday (27 April).

The reported interception comes after the Bashar al-Assad regime accused Israel of striking a military installation near Damascus International Airport.

But the BBC reported Syrian rebel sources which said the installation was actually an arms depot run by Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, sworn enemies of Israel.

Israeli media are reporting that the target was actually an unmanned drone and that residents in the northern Israeli town of Safed saw two missiles being launched and of explosions occurring afterwards.

Reuters reported that it was not clear whether the target came down in Israeli or Syrian territory.

Israel's intelligence minister Yisrael Katz declined to comment on the strike but said told the Associated Press (AP) the reports "absolutely match our declared policy, a policy that we also implement".

The interception comes hours after the pre-dawn Damascus explosion which Russia labelled a "gross violation of Syrian sovereignty".

Golan Heights, Israel
A man sits on an old tank as he watches fighting taking place in Syria as seen from the Israeli side of the border fence between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights September 11, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly affirmed that they will conduct airstrikes in Syria on Hezbollah targets and struck a number of targets on 17 March.

The airstrikes on that occasion were to halt so-called "advanced weapons", according to Netanyahu. And on the same day the IDF used their advanced anti-missile Arrow system to strike a missile fired from Syria.

In response Syria said they had shot down an Israeli jet, something denied by Israel.

Skirmishes between Syrian forces and the Israel Defence Force (IDF) have occurred regularly in the Golan Heights since the start of the Syrian civil war six years ago.

Damascus Israel strike
A still image taken from a video posted to a social media website and said to be shot on April 27, 2017, shows explosions and rising flames amid lights in distance, said to be shot in Damascus, Syria. Social Media Website via Reuters

The Iran-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah are Israel's sworn enemies and claims that the group and aligned Iranian troops, have been positioned close to the 1967 ceasefire line in the disputed Golan Heights.

For 50 years, the Golan Heights have been the scene of fighting between Israel and Syria. The Israeli army seized the 1,200 sq km (460 sq miles) of land from Syria in the Six Day War of 1967. Syria attempted to retake the area during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The Heights were then annexed by Israel in 1981.