Lebanese army fires at Israeli UAV
February 21, 2007 13:22
Lebanon: Overflights violate sovereignty, challenge UN Resolution 1701.
(photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Lebanese army announced Wednesday that it had shot at an IAF unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) south of Tyre, in southern Lebanon.
The IDF confirmed the report, saying that several bursts of light ammunition were fired at the UAV. "The ammunition did not endanger the aircraft," the IDF stressed.
A Lebanese military spokesman said earlier Wednesday that IAF warplanes were flying over southern Lebanon.
According to the spokesman, the low-flying planes had "violated Lebanese sovereignty, posing a challenge to UN Resolution 1701" - the Security Council resolution that ended the 34-day war between Israel and Hizbullah last August.
IDF: Arms smuggled to Hizbullah on a weekly basis
The incident was the first time that the Lebanese military had fired at Israeli aircraft since the war.
IAF warplanes have flown reconnaissance missions over Lebanon for years, despite protests from the Beirut government.
The IDF, which often declines to comment on the operations of its air force, has defended the over-flights since the war as necessary to check that Hizbullah is not being re-armed in violation of the cease-fire.
On Feb. 7, Lebanese troops fired at an IDF bulldozer after it allegedly crossed into south Lebanon. The army fired back, and later said that the bulldozer was still on the Israeli side of the UN-demarcated border.
After the war, the Lebanese army deployed some 16,000 troops in southern Lebanon, where Hizbullah guerrillas had previously been in control. The United Nations has sent more than 12,000 peacekeepers to the area to monitor the cease-fire.
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