Hezbollah claims to down Israeli drone

Hezbollah claims it downed an Israeli drone in southern Lebanon.

:: Hezbollah sources claimed on Monday to have downed an Israeli drone in Lebanon.

The Lebanese organization downed an Israeli drone outside Ramya, a town in southern Lebanon, according to Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.

A correspondent for al-Manar reporting from the border said the drone had not sustained much damage and had been in Lebanese airspace for around five minutes.

The Israeli drone is now in the hands of Hezbollah’s fighters, the Iran-backed group added in a statement.

In response, the Israeli army confirmed that a small drone “on an ordinary mission” fell inside Lebanon and added that there is no danger of the drone leaking information.

Israel and Hezbollah exchanged fire along the Lebanese border on Sunday after a week of rising tensions, but no casualties were reported following the brief flare-up and UN officials immediately urged restraint.

The recent confrontation came after two other Israeli drones fell in Hezbollah-dominated south Beirut in August. The organization said one drone exploded and one crashed in the southern suburbs of Beirut, causing damage to its media center.

A few hours earlier, the Israeli military had attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader said that while the flare-up with Israel at the border had ended, the episode had launched a “new phase” in which the Iran-backed movement no longer has red lines.

In response, the Israeli army said on Tuesday that it had exposed a Hezbollah site dedicated to the manufacture of “precision-guided” missiles in Lebanon.

“The IDF is exposing a facility belonging to Hezbollah… designed to convert and manufacture precision-guided missiles,” the Israeli army said in a statement.

It released what it said was an aerial photograph of the site in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, near the town of Nabi Chit.

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