BEIRUT (AP) — One Israeli drone collapsed over Beirut and another exploded in the air, but the Hezbollah group claimed it was not their work. Residents of the guerrilla group’s stronghold in southern Beirut reported a strong explosion that shook the area on Sunday morning, causing a fire. They added that for now the source of the explosion, which occurred in the Moawwad neighborhood, is unknown, but noted that it may have been caused by an Israeli drone that fell into the area amid Israeli air activity in neighboring Syria.
Hezbollah said it did not take down the drones. A group spokesman, Mohammed Afif, said a drone fell on the roof of a building housing Hezbollah’s press office in Dahyeh’s Moawwad neighborhood, the group’s stronghold in southern Beirut.HELP US Click on the Google News star and follow us Added that a second drone, apparently sent by Israel to search for the first drone, exploded into the air less than 45 minutes later.” We didn’t shoot down or blow up any of the drones,” Afif told The Associated Press on Sunday. He said group leader Hasan Nasrala will give “an appropriate response.” Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called the act “aggression” against Lebanese sovereignty. It stated that this was a threat to regional stability and an attempt to escalate the situation. Journalists at the scene were not authorized to record video or take photographs. A building appeared to be slightly damaged at the site of the drone. A man was seen removing metal parts in a white plastic bag that he said contained parts of the aircraft that collapsed.
Israel’s military said they do not comment on “foreign reports.”
Israeli warplanes fly frequently over Lebanon and have repeatedly attacked Syria from Lebanese airspace. Hours earlier, on Saturday night, the Israeli army attacked targets near the Syrian capital of Damascus in what called a successful attempt to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, intensifying an early campaign against activity Iran’s military in the region.