Israel scrambles jets as drone from Lebanon enters Israeli airspace, turns back
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Israel scrambles jets as drone from Lebanon enters Israeli airspace, turns back

Military says aircraft was under Israeli military surveillance the entire time; aerial infiltration follows reports of Israeli strike on Hezbollah site in Syria

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

ILLUSTRATIVE -- In this July 11, 2018 file photo, a drone equipped with a thermal camera flies over the plants at the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources' Jennings Environmental Education Center on July 11, 2018 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
ILLUSTRATIVE -- In this July 11, 2018 file photo, a drone equipped with a thermal camera flies over the plants at the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources' Jennings Environmental Education Center on July 11, 2018 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

A small drone penetrated Israeli airspace from Lebanon on Wednesday afternoon, the army said, prompting the air force to scramble fighter jets.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the aircraft quickly returned to Lebanese territory.

“Moments ago, IDF troops spotted a drone from Lebanese territory that entered the airspace of the State of Israel and then returned to Lebanese territory. The drone was tracked by the troops,” the army said in a statement.

The incident came hours after Israel reportedly targeted sites in Syria controlled by the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group.

The Iranian ally Hezbollah maintains a significant presence in southern Lebanon, despite a United Nations resolution meant to keep it out of the area.

According to Syrian and Lebanese reports, the target of the predawn strike by Israel was infrastructure set up by Hezbollah in the area of Tel al-Harra in recent months, following Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s conquering of the area last summer.

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