September 19, 2019
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Hezbollah threatens to down Israeli drones in Lebanon's airspace

Beirut, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The leader of Hezbollah on Sunday warned that the Lebanese Shiite group will not allow Israel to fly drones in the Lebanese airspace and that they will shoot down any that are launched.

Hassan Nasrallah's remarks came after two drones went down last night in southern Beirut in the first Israeli attack on the Lebanese capital since 2006.

"Hezbollah will endeavor to down all Israeli drones which may violate Lebanon's airspace," Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Nasrallah blamed Israel for yesterday's incident, hours after the Jewish state confirmed it had carried out an attack on positions allegedly occupied by Iranian and Hezbollah fighters in Syria.

The first of the two drones was a reconnaissance aircraft, while the second was a "suicide" drone, according to Nasrallah.

This was "the first clear attack against southern Beirut" since Aug. 14, 2006, at the end of a month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah.

The drones were not actually shot down, he said, although children did throw stones at them.

Drones enter the Lebanese airspace not to gather information, but to carry out "attacks, explosions and assassinations," Nasrallah said, adding that "Israel's time is over."

Thus far, Israel has not admitted undertaking this action against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The incident caused only material damage, according to Nasrallah, who said it was a "limited attack" albeit a "very, very, very dangerous" one.

A few hours before the incident against Hezbollah's stronghold in the southern part of the capital, Israel announced it had launched an operation against positions held by "Iranians of (the Islamic) Revolutionary Guard Corps and Shiite militia," adding that the operation was aimed at aborting "an attack on Israel."

The Israelis, according to Nasrallah, "did not hit an Iranian base, but rather a house used by Hezbollah fighters."

Earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces said that Iranian Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani had given the green light to attack the Israeli territory.

The IDF posted to its Twitter account surveillance camera footage showing people believed to be Iranians carrying "a killer drone" which was allegedly going to be used "in an attack on Israel."

Nasrallah admitted that some of his fighters were killed, vowing to take retaliatory action from Lebanon if more of his men were killed in Syria.

"If Israel kills any of our brothers in Syria, we will respond in Lebanon (...) I say to the Israeli army at the borders (...) wait for us, one day, or two, or three, or four," he said.

Two Hezbollah militia members were killed and buried in Syria on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. EFE-EPA


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