Israel shoots down alleged Hezbollah drone, scrambles jets

AP , Friday 18 Feb 2022

The Israeli military on Friday said it fired interceptor missiles and protectively scrambled warplanes after what it described as a drone launched by Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group crossed its tense northern border.

Iron Dome
Iron Dome defence system battery, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, and Israeli military vehicles stationed near the border with Lebanon in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights on February 18, 2022. AFP

The move comes just a day after Israel shot down what it said was another Hezbollah drone. Neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah gave immediate comment.

The military said the incursion set off air raid sirens in northern Israel, and that Iron Dome interceptor were deployed and fighter jets were patrolling the skies.

Israel and Hezbollah are bitter enemies that fought a monthlong war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate. Israel considers the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to be its greatest immediate threat, possessing an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of striking anywhere in Israel.

Israel has long expressed concerns that Hezbollah would obtain or develop guided missiles and attack drones.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah's chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his group has been manufacturing military drones in Lebanon and has the technology to turn thousands of missiles in its possession into precision-guided munitions.

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