Hezbollah downed Israeli drone in Lebanon

AFP , Monday 10 Jun 2024

Lebanon's Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone on Monday, while the Israeli military confirmed a drone had been downed, amid near-daily cross-border attacks between the Iran-backed group and its arch-foe.

Israeli strike
A member of the Lebanese security forces inspects the damage around a building that was targeted by an Israeli airstrike in the southern Lebanese town of Wadi Jilo, east of Tyre. AFP


Hezbollah has traded near-daily fire with Israeli forces in the eight months since the Israeli war on Gaza began.

Hezbollah fighters shot down "a Hermes 900 drone armed with missiles to carry out attacks on our regions" using "air defense weapons", the group said in a statement.

The group has claimed to have shot down several Israeli drones since the border skirmishes erupted, including some that they identified as Hermes 450s or Hermes 900s.

The Israeli military meanwhile confirmed that a drone had been shot down, saying: "A surface-to-air missile was launched toward an IAF (Israeli Air Force) UAV that was operating in Lebanese airspace."

The drone "was damaged and fell in Lebanese territory," it added in a statement.

The deadly cross-border clashes have intensified in recent weeks, causing multiple brush fires on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon border and raising fears the conflict could broaden.

Hezbollah has escalated its use of drones to attack Israeli military positions, while Israel has hit the fighters and their allies in targeted strikes on cars and motorbikes.

Last Thursday, Hezbollah used anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets for the first time.

More than eight months of cross-border violence, which began on October 8, has killed 459 people in Lebanon, mostly fighters but including 88 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side of the border, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to the army.

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