Iran-backed Hezbollah downs Israeli drone in southern Lebanon

By Thomson Reuters Apr 21, 2024 | 4:50 PM

AMMAN (Reuters) – Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Sunday it downed an Israeli drone that was on a combat mission in southern Lebanon.

The drone that was brought down above the Al Aishiyeh area in southern Lebanon was “waging its attacks on our steadfast people,” a statement said by the group said.

Israeli forces and Lebanon’s armed group Hezbollah have been exchanging fire for over six months in parallel to the Gaza war, in the most serious hostilities since they fought a major war in 2006.

Hezbollah said the drone was an Israeli Hermes 450, a multi-payload drone made by Elbit Systems, an Israel-based weapons manufacturer.

The fighting has fuelled concern about the risk of further escalation.

At least 370 Lebanese, including more than 240 Hezbollah fighters and 68 civilians, have been killed in the fighting according to a Reuters tally. Eighteen Israelis, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed on the Israeli side of the border, according to Israeli tallies.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Diane Craft and Josie Kao)