After Hezbollah-affiliated news outlets report previous UAV launch, IDF confirms it downed an additional drone a week ago.
By World Israel News Staff
Days before the IDF intercepted three Hezbollah UAVs heading towards an Israeli offshore gas field, military also downed an additional drone, the IDF disclosed in a statement.
The IDF confirmation followed a report from the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper on which said Hezbollah sent an unarmed aerial drone to the same gas field last Wednesday.
“The drones that were launched last Saturday were not the first operation, but were preceded by another operation on Wednesday,” Al-Akhbar wrote.
A journalist from Al-Manar TV, which is also associated with Hezbollah, lauded the launch as a success, claiming that the drone had completed an observation mission.
An IDF statement on Thursday morning contradicted that series of events, confirming that a Hezbollah-launched drone had been launched towards the Israeli gas field, but that the military had immediately “neutralized” it.
The military did not reveal what methods it had used to destroy the drone last Wednesday.
Three days after that incident, the IDF used an F-16 fighter jet and Barak 8 medium-range surface-to-air missile system launched from a naval ship, to bring down three Hezbollah drones near Karish.
Shortly after the incident, IDF spokesman Ran Kochav told Kan News that the neutralization of the drones “significant operation setback” for Hezbollah.
Kochav hinted that Israel had advanced warning of the launch, noting that the drones were all shot down while still flying over Lebanese waters.
The U.S. has been trying to broker an agreement for Israel and Lebanon to define their maritime border. Lebanon insisted that the Karish gas field was wholly in its territorial waters, but Beirut recently softened its claims. However, Hezbollah has taken a harder approach.
Lebanese government officials slammed Hezbollah saying the drone launches could disrupt American-brokered negotiations with Israel.