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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Israeli Drones Come down over Hezbollah's Stronghold in Beirut

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Sun, 25 Aug 2019 09:14 GMT

A Hezbollah official said on Sunday August 25th that an Israeli drone came down over one of the group's strongholds in the Lebanese capital Beirut and another exploded in the air, amid regional tensions between Israel and Iran, according to AP.

"There were two drones -- the first fell and was neutralised, the second exploded," a Hezbollah official spoke on condition of anonymity. 

According to the residents of the Moawwad neighborhood, one large explosion shook the Iranian-backed group's stronghold in southern Beirut early on Sunday, triggering a fire.  

The Hezbollah official said the blast was caused by an Israeli drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighboring Syria. 

A Hezbollah spokesman told Lebanon's state news agency NNA the second drone was rigged with explosives causing serious damage to the media centre. Shortly afterward, the Lebanese security forces cordoned off the area where both the residents and Hezbollah members gathered. 

Hezbollah is now examining the first drone, the spokesman said. 

Meanwhile, Lebanon's army released a statement on Sunday confirming that the two drones that came down were Israeli. 

"Two drones belonging to the Israeli enemy violated Lebanese airspace (at dawn) ... over the southern suburbs of Beirut. The first fell while the second exploded in the air causing material damage," an army statement said. 

Israeli warplanes regularly violate Lebanese airspace and have struck inside neighboring Syria from Lebanon on numerous occasions. 

The blast came hours after the Israeli military said its aircraft had struck Iranian forces and Shi'ite militias near Syria's capital Damascus which, it said, had been planning to launch "killer drones" into Israel. 

The late-night airstrike appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years on Iranian targets in Syria. 

On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the attack by Israeli warplanes as a "major operational effort". 

Middle East