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Two unmanned aerial vehicles flown by the Israeli military have crashed in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri has confirmed. This comes on the heels of reports that IDF ‘suicide drones’ targeted Hezbollah’s compounds in Beirut.
Israeli drone flights were “an open attack on Lebanese sovereignty” and an assault on UN Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, Hariri said on Sunday, just hours after reports of two Israeli UAV incidents in Beirut.
Hariri called the drone incursion a “threat to regional stability and an attempt to increase tensions.”
He said there’s a heavy presence of planes in the airspace over Beirut and its suburbs, adding he will consult with Lebanese President Michel Aoun on what could be done to repel the “new aggression.”
His comments come just hours after two explosives-laden drones – believed to be operated from Israel – reportedly targeted hezbollah facilities in Beirut. One failed to detonate and crashed in a southern suburb of the city, while the second one damaged the militant group’s media center, according to a Hezbollah spokesperson.
Separately, Israeli combat aircraft have reportedly flown mock sorties over the Lebanese city of Sidon. Local media described warplanes flying at low altitude over the country’s third largest city, which lies about 40km south of Beirut.
It follows a flurry of military activity in Syria, where air defense forces were scrambled to engage enemy targets coming from Israel. The IDF confirmed the raids, claiming that it had targeted Iranian operatives and Shiite militias who were allegedly planning a “large scale attack of multiple killer drones.”
Explosions were reported in Damascus, but Syrian state TV said that most of the Israeli missiles had been shot down.
Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war as they have never officially ceased hostilities. Previously, they fought in the 2006 war that saw over 1,000 Lebanese civilians killed, with much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed by Israeli bombardments.