Israeli drone crashes in southern Lebanon

IDF investigating circumstances of ‘technical malfunction’; aircraft taken to Lebanese army base

An Israeli drone aircraft crashed in southern Lebanon on Saturday near the border between the two countries.

According to the Lebanese government news agency, the aircraft was taken to the Marjaayoun army base after crashing due to a “mechanical malfunction,” but there was no immediate indication of the extent of the damage to the plane.

“The drone crashed on the Lebanese border, inside Lebanese territory. Lebanese troops are in the area,” a Lebanese military source told AFP.

The IDF said that during a routine surveillance mission along the Lebanese border one of its UAVs “suffered a technical malfunction and crashed” and that “the circumstances of the incident are now being reviewed.”

There was no indication that the plane was shot down, Channel 10 reported.

It was not immediately clear what type of drone crashed. Unconfirmed initial photos posted on the Internet suggested it was an Elbit Skylark, a small, hand-launched surveillance aircraft.

In February, an Israeli drone crashed on the Blue Line, the UN-demarcated line between Lebanon and Israel.

Israeli soldiers crossed into Lebanese territory during that incident to retrieve the wreckage.

Israeli aircraft regularly cross into Lebanese airspace, and the border area in southern Lebanon has been the scene of tense standoffs in the past.

The Blue Line was drawn up in 2000 by the UN after Israeli troops withdrew from the south Lebanon security zone, a buffer against terrorist attacks on northern Israel, ending a 22-year presence in parts of south Lebanon.

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