Sunday 25 August 2019 | 4:1 PM Damascus Local Time
  • Hezbollah Says Exploding Drone Damaged Its Office Near Beirut


    Hezbollah said the drones belonged to Israel, but the Israeli military declined to comment on Sunday.

    The events in Beirut occurred a day after Israeli warplanes struck targets in Syria where, the Israeli military said, Iran had been preparing to attack Israel using explosive-laden “killer drones.”

    The Hezbollah spokesman, Mohammed Afif, said the first drone came down on a roof of the apartment building that houses the group’s media office but did not explode. Less than an hour later, a second drone exploded nearby, shattering the back windows of six floors of the building, including those of the media office.

    The Lebanese Army confirmed that one drone fell and another exploded in the capital’s southern suburbs around 2:30 a.m. local time.

    “The army arrived immediately and cordoned off the area where the two drones fell,” the army said in a statement.

    During a brief interview in the damaged media office, where the group often meets foreign journalists and other visitors, Afif said that Hezbollah, a militant group and political party represented in Lebanon’s government, had not shot down either of the drones.

    The first appeared to be a surveillance drone and came down on a red-tiled roof extending from a lower floor behind the building, he said. The second drone came less than an hour later and exploded, apparently in midair, near where the first drone had landed. The explosion shattered the building’s windows.

    Afif said that Hezbollah had retrieved the first, undamaged drone and the remains of the second, and that the group would analyze them to establish their mission.

    Over the years, Iran has built a network of allies and militant groups to help advance its interests in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. The United States considers some of Iran’s allies, including Hezbollah, terrorist organizations.