Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Lebanon's Hezbollah says it downed Israeli drone

IDF confirms its drone crashed in Lebanon during reconnaissance mission Lebanon's Hezbollah say they downed Israeli drone
Patty Aguilar | 10 September, 2019, 12:29

The Israeli drone is now in the hands of Hezbollah's fighters, the Iran-backed group said in a statement.

IDF Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee also warned that Syrian President Bashar Assad will "pay a heavy price" for his continued assistance to Iran on his country's soil, according to Israel's Ynet news.

Multiple Western intelligence sources say Iran has plans to house thousands of troops at the location. The Lebanon-Israel border was mostly calm with United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the border Monday, a day after the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group fired a barrage of anti-tank missiles into Israel, triggering Israeli artillery fire that lasted less than two hours and caused some fires.

The development comes amid heightened tensions between Hezbollah and the Israeli military.

Anna Ahronheim, the military and defense correspondent at the Jerusalem Post, said the Israeli occupation military "confirms a small drone fell in south Lebanon during a routine operation yesterday".

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said two Israeli drones that came down in the Hezbollah-dominated southern suburbs of Beirut, amounted to an open attack on the country's sovereignty and an attempt to foment regional tensions.

In June 2018, strikes near the Iraqi border killed 55 pro-government forces, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, the Observatory said.

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In that brief clash, Hezbollah said it destroyed an Israeli armoured vehicle, killing and wounding those inside, and broadcast what it said was footage of two missiles hitting a moving vehicle. The military said the drone went down Sunday, not Monday, and the reason for the discrepancy was not clear.

Hezbollah was responding to an earlier drone attack by Israel.

Thursday, August 29:Israel revealed what it said was declassified intelligence, outlining an Iranian programme to assemble precision-guided missiles inside Lebanon.

The missiles hit several targets in Israel's border town of Avivim, the Israeli army said, adding it responded by shelling 100 targets inside Lebanon. It did not say why the drone crashed, but said "there is no concern information could be taken from it".

Hizbollah had issued a statement saying that some of its fighters "confronted with the appropriate weapons an Israeli drone" heading towards the Lebanese border village of Ramyeh overnight.

Israel reportedly believes the base was a key element in Tehran's effort to develop a so-called "land bridge" that would allow the Islamic Republic to easily move weapons, fighters, and war materiel from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

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