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‘Like a declaration of war’: Lebanon accuses Israel after drone crashes

Lebanon’s president has accused Israel of behaviour “similar to a declaration of war” after drones crashed in Beirut and an airstrike near the border. 

The two drones crashed separately in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, with Lebanon saying the group had not fired on the drones.

Hezbollah is a political party and militant group banned by the UK as a terrorist organisation.

The first drone fell and the second exploded near the ground, close to Hezbollah’s media centre in the Dahiyeh suburbs, according to a Hezbollah official.

Blaming Israel, Lebanese president Michel Aoun said: “What happened was similar to a declaration of war which allows us to resort to our right to defending our sovereignty.”

Advertisement Image: Windows were broken in the Beirut suburb

Prime Minister Saab Hariri accused Israel of “aggression” and that it “constitutes a threat to regional stability and an attempt to push the situation towards further tension.”

It is the first incident of its kind in the region in more than a decade and Hezbollah have since threatened to retaliate.

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Israel have not said they are behind an attack in Beirut.

Mr Aoun met with the country’s United Nations Special Coordinator, according to the president’s office.

Image: It was the first such incident in a decade

Meanwhile, Mr Hariri met with the country’s interior and defence ministers and with the army chief to discuss security issues.

Hours after the two drones came down in a built-up area of the capital, Israeli drone strikes hit a military position belonging to a Palestinian faction in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, near the Syrian border, early on Monday.

A Lebanese source told Reuters there were no injuries in the strike against the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, while an Israeli military spokeswoman told the news agency: “We do not comment on foreign reports”.

The incident in Beirut came hours after Israel claimed a fatal airstrike near Damascus against Iranian forces that Israel said were planning to launch “killer drones”.


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