Analysts speculate drones that crashed in Beirut were Iranian, not Israeli

The release of a photograph of a drone that crashed in the Lebanese capital Beirut earlier Sunday morning casts doubt on the claim by the Hezbollah terror group that the craft belonged to the Israeli military, with some Israeli analysts speculating the unmanned aerial vehicle was in fact an Iranian model.

In the predawn hours of this morning, a UAV exploded in the air outside the offices of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, causing damage to the building. A second crashed nearby and was retrieved by the terror group.

Both Hezbollah and the Lebanese military claimed the drones belonged to Israel.

Official Lebanese state media has just released a photograph of the quadcopter-style UAV that crashed. The aircraft does not resemble any of the UAVs used by the Israeli military.

Several well-connected Israeli commentators, including a former IDF general, say the drone appeared to be of an Iranian design.

The Israel Defense Forces refuses to publicly comment on the incident, saying it does not comment on “foreign reports.”

Former head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin, who now heads the esteemed Institute for National Security Studies think tank, speculates that the drone may have been part of a plot by Tehran to send armed drones into northern Israel to bomb military installations and national infrastructure, an attack that the IDF said it foiled late Saturday night with a series of airstrikes in Syria.

“Were Iranian drones prevented from taking off from the Beirut area?” Yadlin writes on Twitter.

The former intelligence chief says it appeared as though both Israel and Iran were looking to calm the situation following the late-night airstrikes.

— Judah Ari Gross

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