Lebanese army fires on Israeli drone, forces retreat from Lebanon airspace

Lebanese army fires on Israeli drone, forces retreat from Lebanon airspace
Similar incidents in August and October saw tensions between Hezbollah and Israel skyrocket.
2 min read
13 February, 2020
The drone was forced back to 'Occupied Palestine', the army said [Getty]
The Lebanese army said it fired upon an Israeli drone flying over south Lebanon on Wednesday, forcing it to retreat out from the country's airspace, The Daily Star reported.

The drone was flying over the southern town of Mais al-Jabal before Lebanese forces shot at the drone, "forcing it to return to Occupied Palestine", a statement from the army said.

Similar incidents took place in August and October last year amid soaring tensions between Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Israel.

In October, Lebanon's state-run news agency said a Lebanese man shot down an Israeli drone with a hunting rifle near the border village of Kfar Kila.

Lebanon's MTV news station reported that the drone was shot down by Hezbollah, but the group's Al-Manar news said a civilian shot it down.

The Israeli military admitted to flying a drone over Lebanon, saying it was done as a part of "routine operations to secure the border".

The military, however, claimed the drone "fell" as opposed to being shot down.

A week earlier, the Lebanese army accused Israel of sending a reconnaissance drone over Beirut's southern suburbs, also a Hezbollah bastion.

"One of the Israeli enemy's reconnaissance drones violated Lebanese air space... overflew the southern suburbs and left," the army said in a statement. 

In August, two explosive-laden drones were sent to the same area. One of them exploded, sparking a dangerous escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.

A Lebanese government investigation concluded the two Israeli drones were on an attack mission when they crashed in Beirut.

Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war. 

A month-long conflict in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Since then, skirmishes have taken place along the border.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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