Hezbollah says it downed Israeli drone

Updated September 10, 2019

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The Israeli army said rockets had been fired from Syria but failed to reach their targets.
— AFP/File
The Israeli army said rockets had been fired from Syria but failed to reach their targets. — AFP/File

BEIRUT: The Iran-backed Hezbollah movement said on Monday it had downed and seized an Israeli drone as it flew across the Lebanese border, a week after a flash confrontation between the arch-foes.

Israel’s army said a drone it was operating “fell” in Lebanon on Sunday. In what appeared to be a response, an air strike at “around midnight” killed 18 pro-Iranian fighters in eastern Syria, a monitor said.

Later on Monday, the Israeli army said rockets had been fired from Syria but failed to reach their targets.

Hezbollah 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. The group said it subsequently retrieved the device, but did not provide pictures.

The incident was a sequel to an escalation between the two foes that started on the evening Aug 24 when an Israeli strike killed two Hezbollah operatives in Syria. Israel said that strike was to prevent a drone attack on its territory by an Iranian force.

The operation was followed hours later by what Hezbollah described as an Israeli drone attack on its Beirut stronghold.

That led to an escalation in rhetoric and heightened fears of all-out conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, whose main allies Iran and the United States, respectively, are also at loggerheads.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2019