Hezbollah says it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon on Thursday, and the aircraft fell within the Lebanese territory.
In a brief statement carried by Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network that it downed an Israeli drone that had entered the Lebanese skies with “appropriate weapons” at 1:55 p.m. local time (1055 GMT) on Thursday.
The statement added the Israeli aircraft was brought down as it was flying over Maryamin valley on the outskirts of the southern town of Yater.
The Israeli army, meanwhile, alleged that the drone “fell during routine activity” and that the incident was being “investigated.”
Back on March 9, Hezbollah said it had separately intercepted and struck two Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles as they crossed into Lebanon's airspace near the southern border village of Blida.
An Israeli aircraft was targeted with “suitable weapons,” according to a Hezbollah statement at the time, which was followed by Israeli forces firing flares in the area.
“Another drone had also trespassed the Lebanese airspace in the same area was confronted with appropriate weapons and forced to retreat to occupied Palestinian territories,” the statement added.
Israeli forces fired flares at the border with Lebanon, but no injuries were confirmed, according to witnesses.
Israel frequently violates Lebanon’s airspace. Lebanon’s government, Hezbollah and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) have repeatedly condemned Israel’s overflights, saying they are in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 and the country’s sovereignty.
The resolution, which brokered a ceasefire in the war Israel launched against Lebanon in 2006, calls on the Israeli regime to respect Lebanon's sovereignty and territorial integrity.