Incident Resulted In An Iranian-Built UAV Being Shot Down
The UAV that penetrated Israel's airspace this week and was eventually shot down by the Israeli Air Force was launched by Hezbollah, that group's leader said Thursday. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said that it would not be the last time Israel's airspace is tested.
The drone, which was reportedly built in Iran, was launched from Lebanon, Nasrallah said. "This statement today is a claim of responsibility by the Islamic resistance for this qualitative operation" of dispatching the drone, he said in a televised address late Thursday. It was brought down near the Dimona nuclear reactor in Israel's southern desert.
The Associated Press reports that Nasrallah went on to say in the statement that "we are uncovering a small part of our capabilities, and we shall keep many more hidden. It is our natural right to send other reconnaissance flights inside occupied Palestine ... This is not the first time and will not be the last. We can reach any place we want."
Nasrallah dismissed Israel's statement that it had begun tracking the aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, and waited until it was over an unpopulated area before shooting it down. The statement confirmed suspicions that Hezbollah was behind the incident. The group is closely associated with Iran and has a track record of attempts to deploy UAVs in the area.
(Image of Iranian Karrar drone previously released by the Iranian Defense Ministry)