Wednesday, 25 May, 2022

Israel fires on new drone from Lebanon

Israel fires on new drone from Lebanon
A picture shows a M109 American-made 155mm turreted self-propelled howitzer stationed near the border with Lebanon in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights on Friday. — AFP Photo

JERUSALEM: Israel's military said its air defences fired at an unmanned aerial vehicle that had crossed into its airspace from Lebanon on Friday, the second such incident in as many days, reports AFP.

Air raid sirens were sounded, sending residents into bomb shelters after "a radio-controlled aircraft crossed into Israeli airspace from Lebanon", the military said in a statement.

"As a result... aerial defence systems were activated" and "after a few minutes, radar contact was lost with the aircraft," it added, indicating that the drone was not intercepted.

The Israeli Air Force said in a tweet that "Iron Dome interceptors were launched" and that fighter jets were scrambled to patrol the area.

The army had announced on Thursday it had shot down a drone that it said was launched into Israeli airspace by Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite movement backed by Israel's nemesis Iran.

That came a day after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had boasted about his organisation's new drone and missile capabilities.

In a speech, Nasrallah said "it is no secret to the Israelis... that we have the capacity to transform our missiles into precision missiles".

"In Lebanon, for a long time, we have started to manufacture drones. Whoever wants to buy them can place an order!" he declared.

Neighbours Lebanon and Israel are technically in a state of war and drones have become a regular feature of their heavily guarded border.

In January, Israeli security sources claimed that drones captured after being flown across the frontier from Lebanon had provided insights into Hezbollah's growing aerial surveillance capabilities.

In July 2006, Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, sparking a 34-day war with Israel that killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

It ended with a UN-backed ceasefire that saw the Lebanese army deploy along border areas.