Israel says downed Hezbollah drone

AFP , Thursday 17 Feb 2022

Israel's army said on Thursday it had shot down a drone sent by Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah that entered Israeli airspace.

A woman wearing a scarf decorated with pictures of her three sons, who died fighting with Hezbollah against Israel and in Syria, listens to Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah as he speaks via a video link, during an annual ceremony commemorating the killing of some of the Iran-backed group s top political and military leaders, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. AP

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 have provided insight into the growing aerial surveillance capabilities of Hezbollah, an organisation backed by Israel's nemesis Iran.

The Israeli army, in a statement on Thursday, said "troops downed a drone belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organisation that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli airspace."

The Israeli army "will continue to operate in order to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty," it added.

In July 2006, Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers, sparking a 33-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.

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