Israel shoots down alleged Hezbollah drone, scrambles jets
The Israeli military on Friday said it fired interceptor missiles and protectively scrambled warplanes after what it described as a drone launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group crossed its tense northern border.
The move comes just a day after Israel shot down what it said was another Hezbollah drone. Neither Lebanon nor Hezbollah gave immediate comment.
The military said the incursion set off air raid sirens in northern Israel, and that Iron Dome interceptors were deployed and fighter jets were patrolling the skies.
Soon after, Israeli jets conducted low flights over Beirut and other parts of Lebanon. Videos widely shared on social media showed two jets in the sky.
Clear video of the IAF palnes over Beirut at very low altitude, which only was flying for couple minutes while Hezbollah UAV flight was 40 min , we all can tell who won and who is scared #بيروت#حربي_بالأجواء pic.twitter.com/GuLOldFbn2— leb news (@Lebnews2004) February 18, 2022
Israel and Hezbollah are bitter enemies that fought a month-long war in 2006 that ended in a stalemate. Israel considers the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to be its greatest immediate threat, possessing an estimated 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of striking anywhere in Israel.
Israel has long expressed concerns that Hezbollah would obtain or develop guided missiles and attack drones.
Earlier this week, Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah said his group has been manufacturing military drones in Lebanon, and has the technology to turn thousands of missiles in its possession into precision-guided munitions.