BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Lebanese army on Sunday accused Israel of sending a reconnaissance drone at the weekend over Beirut’s southern suburbs, a bastion of the Shiite terror group Hezbollah.
On August 25, two explosives-laden drones were sent to the same area. One of them exploded, sparking a dangerous escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.
On Saturday night, “one of the Israeli enemy’s reconnaissance drones violated Lebanese air space… overflew the southern suburbs and left,” the army said in a statement.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah is represented in Lebanon’s government and parliament but is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, Washington and the European Union. The US has stepped up the financial pressure on the terror group.
According to Israeli and international media reports, the target of the August attack was technology used in producing long-range precision missiles, and its destruction had set back the program by at least a year.
The reported Beirut drone attack came after Israel carried out airstrikes in neighboring Syria to thwart what it said was a plot to fly explosives-laden drones into the country. Two Hezbollah members were among those killed in the strike.
The incidents led to heightened regional tensions, which culminated in a cross-border exchange of fire in early September.
Hezbollah vowed then that it would shoot down any Israeli drones violating Lebanon’s air space.