Hezbollah says Israeli drone that exploded over Beirut damaged media center
The Israeli drone that exploded over the Lebanese capital Beirut caused extensive damage to Hezbollah's media center, the Iranian proxy’s spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the second drone is in Hezbollah's possession.
“The party will respond harshly at five o’clock this afternoon in the speech of the party's secretary-general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah,” Afifi told Lebanon’s National News Agency.
He added that the captured drone is being examined.
The National News Agency reported that three people inside Hezbollah's media center were lightly injured following the explosion of the Israeli drone.
The early morning incident came hours after Israel launched air strikes in neighboring Syria, but Hezbollah officials could not confirm if the drones deployed in Lebanon were Israeli.
“Hezbollah did not shoot down any drone,” Afif said, in remarks carried by Lebanon’s National News Agency.
“The first drone did not explode and it is now in the possession of Hezbollah which is analyzing it,” he added.
“Hezbollah will give a staunch response during (Nasrallah’s) speech,” Afif said.
Lebanon and Israel are technically still at war, and Beirut regularly accuses its neighbor of violating its airspace with planes and drones.
The Israeli military said it does not comment on foreign reports.
Israel deems the heavily armed Shiite Hezbollah movement, backed by Iran, as the biggest threat across its border.
They fought a month-long war in 2006 in which nearly 1,200 people, mostly civilians, died in Lebanon and 158 people died in Israel, mostly soldiers.
Lebanon has complained to the United Nations about Israeli planes regularly violating its airspace in recent years.
Israel says its air force has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria against what it calls Iranian targets and arms transfers to Hezbollah.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strikes in Syria on Saturday thwarted a planned Iranian attack in Israel.
- With agencies.