A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander said on Monday that the country is “entitled” to respond to Israel’s recent drone operation and will increase the movement of weapons to Palestinians.
“We will accelerate arming the West Bank and we think that we are entitled to give any response [to the drone] which we deem appropriate,” Commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Fars News Agency.
Iranian media released footage on Monday of the spy drone it claimed to have shot down on Sunday as it headed for the Natanz nuclear enrichment site.
According to Hajizadeh, the drone was a Hermes model with a range of 800 km.
“The armed forces, including the IRGC and the Army, are fully prepared to trace and intercept [hostile flying objects] and if such moves are repeated, the aggressors will receive our crushing response,” warned Hajizadeh.
He added that some parts of the drone, which has a 5.5 meter wingspan, are still functioning and that “we are now analyzing the information and Intel of these parts.”
The drone was equipped with two cameras that can take high-resolution photos, Hajizadeh said.
The commander of Iran’s Basij force, Brig.Gen. Muhammad Reza Naqdi, said on Monday that Iran had shot down many enemy drones in the past.
“Our Armed Forces have a big collection of drones made by the devil forces, but they will not announce it due to security reasons,” he said according to Fars.
“The Zionists should pack up and go because the crimes committed by them and the fiasco that they have created has made their supporters leave them deserted,” added Naqdi.
The Revolutionary Guard public relations department said in a statement on Sunday that the stealth drone was radar-evading and sought to spy on Iran’s enrichment activity at Natanz, according to Fars. The aircraft was targeted by a surface-to-air missile, it said.
“This mischievous attempt once again made the adventurous nature of the Zionist regime more evident and added another black page to the dark record of this fake and warmongering regime, which is full of crimes and wickedness,” said the statement.
Meanwhile, Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades announced via its Arabic Twitter account on Monday the seizure of an Israeli drone in east Shejaia in Gaza City. The announcement included a photograph of a masked Izzadin Kassam member holding a small, unmarked gray craft. The organization added that it intends to release a video of the drone.
Izzadin Kassam did not provide details about when the alleged drone capture took place.
Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.