Hezbollah drone flies 40-minute tour of northern Israel, returns to Lebanon – Sydney Morning Herald

Beirut: A drone flown by Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has managed to cross into northern Israel on a 40-minute “reconnaissance mission”, triggering air defences and the scrambling of fighter jets before returning to Lebanon.

Iran-backed Hezbollah, which fought a month-long war against Israel on the Lebanese border in 2006, said Friday’s flight carried out a successful required mission. Earlier this week, its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, said his militant faction had been manufacturing military drones in Lebanon and had the technology to turn thousands of missiles in their possession into precision-guided munitions.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters via video in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah addresses supporters via video in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday. Credit:AP

“Despite the enemy’s multiple and successive attempts to shoot it down, the ‘Hassan’ plane returned from the occupied territories safely,” it said.

The incident comes just a day after Israel shot down what it said was another drone, allegedly from Hezbollah, that had crossed into its airspace.

The Israeli military said in its statement that the incursion set off air raid sirens in the north of the country, and that Iron Dome interceptors were deployed and fighter jets were patrolling the skies.

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“After a few minutes, radar contact was lost with the aircraft,” it said, adding that the event was under investigation and that “civilian life in northern Israel has returned to routine”.

Hours later and roughly 100 kilometres to the north, a thundering roar was heard in Lebanese capital Beirut, caused by an Israeli fighter jet flying at very low altitude, jolting residents, rattling windows and setting off some car alarms.

The noise reminded residents of the huge 2020 port explosion.

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