Photo: Flash90

Hezbollah claims it downed IDF drone

Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group said on Monday it brought down an Israeli drone that had entered Lebanese airspace, while the Israeli military said one of its drones had fallen inside Lebanon.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah proxy made the claim in a statement broadcast on its al-Manar television network broadcast from Beirut.

Citing its source as the “Hezbollah War Media Center,” al-Manar said “The Islamic Resistance issued on Monday a statement which announced that Hezbollah fighters managed to down an Israeli drone. after it had violated the Lebanese airspace, over the southern border town of Blida.”

Al Manar also posted a video on its English-language news website purporting to show “the Zionist drone” under control of the “Resistance fighters.”

“The Zionist enemy has recently intensified its violations of the Lebanese airspace in the context of its ongoing spy operations, knowing that the enemy has reduced its ground forces deployment on Lebanon’s border for fear of Hezbollah inevitable response to the Israeli crime of killing one of the Resistance fighters in an air raid on Damascus in 2020,” continued the statement.

The Israeli military said the drone had fallen in Lebanese territory during an operation near the border demarcation known as the Blue Line, and underscored there had been “no breach of information.”

Tensions in the region have been escalating in recent months amid rising IDF airstrikes on Iran-backed militia in neighboring Syria. Iran and Hezbollah have vowed to respond for the aforementioned killing of a combatant in such an attack last year.

Hezbollah has made frequent claims of downing IDF drones in the past. Lebanon has accused Israel of violating its airspace on a near-daily basis, to conduct reconnaissance missions or carry out airstrikes in Syria. Beirut residents have been cited as complaining over increased frequency of low-flying warplanes over the past month.

The two sides fought a month-long war in 2006, referred to in Israel as “The Second Lebanon War.”