JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says one of its drones has crashed in southern Lebanon because of a technical failure.
The military says Saturday’s incident is being investigated but that there was no risk of any sensitive information being leaked.
According to an earlier report by Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV, the drone was destroyed by Israeli fire after it crash-landed on the ground. Reports in Lebanon said the drone was armed with four missiles and landed between the villages of Beit Yahoun and Barashit and was then destroyed by another drone, reportedly Israeli.
The drone was an air force Hermes 450, the IDF said, which developed technical problems in flight. The IDF added that no relevant information will be obtainable from the wreckage regarding the drone’s capabilities or its systems.
The Hermes 450 was brought into service in the 1990s but has since been upgraded. It is considered an advanced vehicle of its type and comprises one of the key figures the army has for collecting and transmitting aerial photographs and intelligence.
Israel typically uses its unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence along its borders. The drones have become a regular part of modern warfare and Israel in February shot down an Iranian one that infiltrated its airspace.
سقوط طائرة تجسس إسرائيلية من دون طيار في منطقة خلة مريم بين بلدتي برعشيت وبيت ياحون دون معرفة اسباب سقوطها وطائرة تجسس ثانية تستهدفها بصاروخ موجه وتدمرها pic.twitter.com/fIzgydhFWd
— علي شعيب ???????? (@ali_shoeib1) March 31, 2018
In September, Israel shot down a Hezbollah surveillance drone that veered too close to the Syrian border with Israel. The military said the unmanned aircraft was Iranian-made and launched from a Damascus airport before it was shot down near the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights.
Israel and Hezbollah fought a monthlong war in 2006.