Israeli drone overflying Lebanon targeted by missile: army

JERUSALEM: An anti-aircraft missile was fired Thursday at an Israeli drone over Lebanon, the Israeli army said, adding that the unmanned aircraft was not hit.

“A short while ago, an anti-aircraft missile was launched over Lebanese territory towards an IDF (Israeli army) UAV. The UAV was not hit,” the military said in a statement posted on Twitter. It gave no further details.

Lebanon’s Shiite militant group Hezbollah said it had “repelled” a drone that flew over south Lebanon, using “appropriate weapons and forcing it to leave”.

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Israel is technically at war with Lebanon and in recent weeks tensions spiked between the two neighbours after two drones packed with explosives targeted Hezbollah’s stronghold of south Beirut in August.

Earlier this month, the Lebanese army accused Israel of having sent a reconnaissance drone over the same area.

Hezbollah is represented in Lebanon’s government and parliament but is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel and Washington.

Like its key backer Iran, it has supported Damascus throughout the war in neighbouring Syria, where Israel has regularly carried out strikes to prevent Iranian-linked forces gaining a foothold.

Hezbollah vowed to take down Israeli drones overflying Lebanon following the August incident, and on September 9 claimed it had downed and seized one.

The Israeli army confirmed that one of its devices “fell” in Lebanon, but it has not commented on the August 25 incident.

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