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Lebanese army fires at Israeli drones near border

August 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm

Israeli soldiers stand guard near the border with Lebanon, where the Israeli military are working to destroy alleged Hezbollah tunnels on 4 December, 2018 in northern Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

The Lebanese army opened fire at two of three Israeli drones that breached Lebanese airspace on Wednesday evening in the south of the country near the Israeli border, and all three returned to Israeli airspace, the army said, Reuters reports.

Israeli aircraft regularly enter Lebanese airspace, but this is a rare case of the army targeting one. Beirut has repeatedly complained to the United Nations about Israel, which Lebanon considers an enemy country, breaching its airspace.

A security source told Reuters that troops fired shots from M16 assault rifles. The Lebanese army does not possess air defence systems.

The first drone entered Lebanese airspace at 19:35 over the border village of Adaisseh and returned to Israel after shots were fired, the army statement said.

READ: Hariri sends message via Russia as Israel ‘violates Lebanon’s sovereignty’ 

A second drone returned to Israel without being fired at after entering over Kfar Kila, also a border village. The army then fired at a third one which also returned back to Israel, it said.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun had said on Monday his country had a right to defend itself after two Israeli drones crashed in Beirut southern suburbs, dominated by the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, on Sunday.

Earlier on Monday, Israeli strikes had hit a military position belonging to an Irani-backed Palestinian faction in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley near the Syrian border.

The Israeli military spokeswoman said it was checking the report.

A witness at the border said the situation was calm following the incident.