IDF scrambles to find drone that crashed in southern Lebanon
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IDF scrambles to find drone that crashed in southern Lebanon

Small Skylark UAV falls on Lebanese side of northern border; Lebanese army, UNIFIL said searching for wreckage

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

An Israeli soldier holds a Skylark drone during the search for three Jewish teenagers near Hebron, in the West Bank, June 14, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An Israeli soldier holds a Skylark drone during the search for three Jewish teenagers near Hebron, in the West Bank, June 14, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A small Israeli drone crashed in southern Lebanon on Monday afternoon for as yet unknown reasons, the army said.

The Skylark unmanned aerial vehicle was flying near the border when it crashed on the Lebanese side, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said.

According to media outlets associated with the Hezbollah terrorist group, the drone fell in the area of Labbouneh, north of the Israeli town of Shlomi.

The IDF would not comment on the attempts to retrieve the surveillance drone, but Lebanese media reported that both the Lebanese army and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon were working to locate the wreckage.

UNIFIL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to Hezbollah media, the search efforts were hindered by rocky and rugged terrain.

The army said it did not yet know why the drone crashed, but that “the incident is being investigated.”

The Skylark drone, or “sky rider” as it’s known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone created by Elbit Systems and operated by the IDF’s Artillery Corps. The miniature UAV can be launched by one or two people, depending on the model, and once airborne provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.

In August 2015, Hamas claimed to have rebuilt a Skylark 1 model from the wreckage of a crashed drone.

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