UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Lebanon’s defense ministry on Thursday offered a drone and other wreckage that Israel accused of sending and crashed last month in the southern suburbs of Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold and sparking tensions between the two sides.
Defense Minister Elias Abu Saab said during a press conference at the Ministry of Defense near Beirut that the two planes are a “sophisticated military industry” and not just two reconnaissance planes.”
On 25 August, the Lebanese authorities and Hezbollah accused Israel of launching an attack by two drones on the southern suburbs of Beirut, one of which fell and the other exploded near the party’s media center. There was no comment from the Israeli side.
Hezbollah, which kept the two planes before handing them over to the army, said its investigation showed they were loaded with explosives. Israeli military vehicles responded by targeting it in early September, while Israel said rockets hit a military base near the border and fired dozens of shells at Lebanese border villages.
On September 8, Hezbollah reported that it had shot down an Israeli drone after crossing the border south.
Abu Saab told reporters on Thursday that the aim of the two planes was “hostile intent to blow up”, without specifying what it specifically targeted.
He explained that the results of investigations conducted by the army on the plane that crashed, showed that it was launched from the sea from an estimated distance of 4.18 kilometers, but did not reach a “clear result from the platform from which it was launched.”
The plane was loaded with a 4.5 kilogram explosive mixture, Abu Saab said. “The drone was controlled by another UI reconnaissance aircraft,” he said. In “as a mediator.”
“The Israeli enemy was the one who controlled this operation and ran it by sea and air,” he said, adding that the danger was that this type of aircraft could leave explosives anywhere and detonate them remotely.
“We are facing attacks of another kind and this is a serious change in the rules of engagement” with Israel since the end of the July 2006 war.
The war erupted after Hezbollah abducted two Israeli soldiers on July 12. Israel responded with a devastating 33-day offensive. The war ended with the issuance of UN Resolution 1701, which established a cessation of hostilities between Lebanon and Israel, and strengthened the deployment of the United Nations Interim Force in South Lebanon (UNIFIL).
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