IDF says one of its drones was downed by Hezbollah missile over south Lebanon

Military says airstrikes launched at Hezbollah positions, areas shelled across border to ‘remove threats,’ as terror group continues to fire rockets at northern communities

Smoke billows after an alleged Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese border village of Tayr Harfa on April 6, 2024. (Kawnat Haju/AFP)
Smoke billows after an alleged Israeli strike on the southern Lebanese border village of Tayr Harfa on April 6, 2024. (Kawnat Haju/AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces said Saturday that one of its drones was downed by a Hezbollah surface-to-air missile over southern Lebanon amid ongoing fighting against the Iran-backed terror group.

The announcement came after Hezbollah said it shot down an Elbit Hermes 450 UAV over Lebanese airspace. Known in the military as the Zik, it is used by the air force as a surveillance and attack drone.

The IDF said the incident was under further investigation.

In February, Hezbollah managed to shoot down another Hermes 450 drone, prompting IDF strikes deep in Lebanon for the first time in years.

The military also said Saturday it carried out airstrikes on Hezbollah positions in Ayta ash-Shab, Arnoun and Tayr Harfa in southern Lebanon as the Iranian proxy repeatedly fired rockets at northern communities throughout the day.

Troops shelled areas near Aalma ash-Shab with artillery to “remove threats,” the IDF added.

In one rocket barrage Saturday, nine rockets were fired at Mount Dov. Five were intercepted while four fell in open areas.

Five rockets were also fired overnight from Lebanon at the Shtula area. The IDF said it shelled the launch sites.

There were no reports of injuries in the attacks on Israel.

Tensions in the region have been high since an alleged Israeli strike in Damascus on Monday killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members, among them a senior Quds Force commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Iran has vowed revenge.

Iran-backed Hezbollah has said it supports Iran’s right to “punish” Israel, and in televised remarks on Friday, Hassan Nasrallah said the response was coming.

Nasrallah warned Friday his group had not yet used its main weapons in nearly six months of cross-border exchanges with Israel since the Gaza war began when Hamas attacked Israel, killing some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and taking 253 hostages.

“We have not employed our main weapons yet, nor have we used our main forces,” Nasrallah said in the televised speech marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day — an annual day of pro-Palestinian rallies held by Iran and its allies.

Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech during a gathering to mark annual Quds (Jerusalem) Day commemorations in Beirut’s southern suburb on April 5, 2024. (Anwar Amro/AFP)

Two Iranian officials quoted on Friday by The New York Times said Iran has made a decision to directly attack Israel, in a move meant to create deterrence.

Israel has braced itself for the possibility of a retaliatory attack, canceling leave for all combat units and mobilizing more troops for air defense units.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

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