Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it has shot down an Israeli drone outside the southern town of Ramyah. According to Israeli media, the UAV was downed during “routine activity,” and that there “wasn’t any intelligence leak”. Pro-Israeli sources described the UAV as a “small drone”.
Hezbollah provided no details regarding the type of UAV downed over southern Lebanon.
Earlier, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed that Hezbollah will not allow Israel to violate Lebanon’s airspace anytime longer.
“This is the start of a new phase, there is a new battlefield which is targeting Israel’s drones in Lebanon’s skies, and it is in the hands of Hezbollah field commanders,” he said.
Hezbollah and the Israeli army exchanged cross-border fire a week ago after a drone attack in a Hezbollah-controlled Beirut suburb in the fiercest shelling exchange between the two adversaries since the 2006 Lebanon war.
Hezbollah and Israel fought a month-long war in 2006. The border between the two countries, which remain technically in a state of war, has been mostly calm since.
Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr, reporting from Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, said this was the first time Hezbollah said it had downed an Israeli drone since 2006, when the two sides fought a month-long war.
The latest escalation comes more than a week before Israel’s parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on September 17.