2 Israeli drones crash over Beirut, Hezbollah denies firing | Nationwide



BEIRUT (AP) — Two Israeli drones crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold within the Lebanese capital in a single day, Lebanese and Hezbollah officers stated Sunday, saying the primary fell on the roof of a constructing housing the group’s media workplace whereas the second landed in a plot behind it.

The spokesman for the Iran-backed Hezbollah stated the group didn’t fireplace on any of the drones, which crashed amid heightened tensions between neighboring Israel and Iran and shortly after Israeli warplanes attacked targets close to the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Israeli plane continued to violate Lebanese airspace Sunday, flying low over Beirut hours after the drones had crashed, elevating fears of a wider battle.

Hezbollah spokesman Mohammed Afif stated a small, unmanned reconnaissance drone fell on a constructing housing Hezbollah’s media workplace within the Moawwad neighborhood in Dahyeh, the group’s stronghold in southern Beirut.

He stated a second drone, which appeared to have been despatched by Israel to seek for the primary one lower than 45 minutes later, exploded within the air and crashed in an empty plot close by, shattering home windows in surrounding buildings. He stated the second drone was doubtless armed, judging by the injury it prompted.

Residents stated they heard a loud blast that triggered a nighttime fireplace.

“We didn’t shoot down or explode any of the drones,” Afif advised The Related Press.

He stated Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah will give the official and “applicable” response in a beforehand scheduled televised look later Sunday.

There was no rapid Israeli touch upon the drone incident or Hezbollah’s remarks.

AP journalists on the scene Sunday stated the 11-floor constructing that homes Hezbollah’s media workplace in addition to close by buildings suffered minor injury and damaged glass. On the second flooring, the place the group has its workplaces, shattered glass littered the flooring and a few of the desks have been overturned. A portrait of Nasrallah was on a desk affected by glass.

A Lebanese military assertion stated an Israeli drone got here down whereas the opposite exploded within the sky over Beirut, inflicting materials injury.

Israeli warplanes frequently violate Lebanese airspace and have struck inside neighboring Syria from Lebanon on a number of events, angering Hezbollah and Lebanese officers, who’ve complained to the United Nations.

The Lebanese Overseas Ministry counted 481 Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace previously two months and instructed Lebanon’s consultant to the U.N. to submit a right away criticism.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri described the crash of the 2 drones as a violation and “aggression” in opposition to Lebanese sovereignty. He stated the developments in a single day represent a menace to regional stability and an try to push the state of affairs towards extra escalation.

Late Saturday, Israeli warplanes struck targets close to the Syrian capital in what the Israeli army stated was a profitable effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel. The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fireplace, gave the impression to be one of the crucial intense assaults by Israeli forces in a number of years.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a army spokesman, stated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds drive, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to ship quite a few explosives-laden assault drones into Israel.

Conricus stated Israel had monitored the plot for a number of months and on Thursday prevented Iran from making an “superior try” to execute the identical plan. Then, Iran tried once more late Saturday to hold out the identical assault, he stated.

He declined to offer specifics on what targets the Iranians supposed to strike.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based warfare monitoring group, reported that two Hezbollah members and an Iranian militiaman have been killed within the Israeli assault Saturday night time.

However an Iranian basic stated the Israeli strikes in Syria didn’t trigger any injury or casualties amongst Iranian forces there.

The semi-official ILNA information company quoted Gen. Mohsen Rezaei on Sunday as calling the Israeli claims a “lie.” Rezaei, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, stated “the defenders of Syria and Iraq will quickly give a solution” to current assaults by Israel and the USA.

In current days, U.S. officers have stated that Israeli strikes have hit Iranian targets in Iraq, in what can be a major growth of Israel’s marketing campaign concentrating on Iranian army entrenchment within the area. Iran helps Hezbollah in Lebanon, in addition to an array of government-allied militias in Syria and Iraq.

Israel has carried out tons of of assaults in recent times concentrating on Hezbollah and different Iranian targets in Syria. Israel views Iran as its biggest menace and has stated it is not going to tolerate a everlasting Iranian presence in Syria or the switch of superior weapons to Hezbollah.

Iran and Hezbollah are key army allies of Syrian President Bashar Assad in that nation’s eight-year-old civil warfare.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a monthlong warfare in 2006. The risky border between the 2 international locations, which stay technically in a state of warfare, has been principally calm since.

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Related Press writers Fadi Tawil and Bilal Hussein in Beirut and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed reporting.

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