BEIRUT – (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah downed an Israeli unmanned aircraft outside the southern town of Ramyah near the border with Israel, the movement’s Al-Manar TV said early on Monday.
The Israeli drone is now in the hands of Hezbollah’s fighters, the Iran-backed group said in a statement.
Hezbollah and the Israeli army exchanged cross-border fire a week ago after a drone attack in a Hezbollah-controlled Beirut suburb in the fiercest shelling exchange between the two adversaries since the 2006 Lebanon war.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had blamed Israel for the drone attack and vowed the group would target Israeli drones that enter Lebanon’s airspace.
Nasrallah said while a flare-up with Israel at the border was over, the episode had launched a “new phase” in which the Iran-backed group no longer had red lines.
Israel had also raised the stakes by accusing Iran of stepping up efforts to provide Hezbollah with precision-guided missile production facilities. Hezbollah denied this.
Reporting by Alaa Swilam and Laila Bassam; Writing by Suleiman al Khalidi; Editing by Robert Birsel