The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced on February 3 that one of its drones was targeted while it was conducting a “regular” sortie over Lebanon.
In a brief statement, the IDF said “anti-aircraft missiles” were fired at the drone, which was not hit. The army didn’t provide any additional information on the incident.
“The aircraft was not hit and we continued our mission as planned,” the statement reads.
Sources in Lebanon’s South province reported an explosion in the air over the town of Deir al- Zahrani. However, no aerial object crashed in the region.
The IDF drone was most likely targeted by Hezbollah. Deir al-Zahrani is a well-known stronghold of the group, which is known to be operating air-defense systems supplied by Syria and Iran.
More than a year ago, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to shot down Israeli drones over Lebanon in response to a drone attack that targeted a media center of the group in Beirut’s southern suburb.
On October 31 of 2019, the group fired an anti-aircraft missile at an IDF drone that was flying over southern Lebanon. The drone was not hit back then.
Hezbollah has been working to build capabilities that would limit Israel’s freedom of movement in Lebanon’s airspace since its foundation in the mid-80s. Today, the group is closer than ever to achieving this goal.
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