Swiss Defense Ministry admits drone test bungle in Golan Heights

Switzerland’s Defense Ministry has admitted sending staff to test reconnaissance drones in contested land held by Israel. Swiss officials visited an airfield in the Golan Heights region on three occasions in 2012, 2013 and 2015. They monitored tests of the Israeli-built Hermes 900 aircraft that they were buying for $265 million, Reuters reported. The visits took place in an area which Switzerland does not recognize as being part of Israel, which took the land from Syria following a 1967 war. The neutral European country found that the presence of their personnel at the airfield contradicted the Swiss position on the Middle East conflict, the ministry said.