Israel's air superiority over Lebanon damaged, retired Israeli general says
Israel’s ability to conduct reconnaissance flights over Lebanon has been damaged over the past year, reducing its aerial superiority over its neighbour, a former commander of the Israeli Air Force said.
General Amikam Norkin, who retired from the Israeli army on Monday, told the Kan public broadcaster that Israel had to scale back its surveillance flights after one of its drones was almost downed by anti-aircraft fire - allegedly from Hezbollah - around a year ago.
He said this had affected Israel's ability to gather intelligence.
Israel and Lebanon remain technically at war. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah group fought a devastating month-long war with Israel in 2006.
Since then, there have been occasional clashes along the border, and Israel has conducted near-daily flights over Lebanon, sometimes at very low altitude.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in February that his paramilitary group has the ability, within Lebanon, to convert thousands of rockets into precision missiles and to produce armed drones.
Only days after his announcement, the Israeli army said it fired interceptor missiles and scrambled warplanes after Hezbollah launched a drone across the border. Hezbollah dubbed the drone "Hassan."