Israeli 'Skylark' drone slams into Lebanese territory

The IDF later confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that the drone belonged to Israel.

By
May 22, 2017 19:34
1 minute read.
Israeli "Skylark" drone crash site inIsraeli "Skylark" drone crash site in Lebanon, May 2017.

Israeli "Skylark" drone crash site inIsraeli "Skylark" drone crash site in Lebanon, May 2017.. (photo credit: ARAB MEDIA)

 
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An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the IDF’s artillery corps crashed in Lebanese territory early Monday, the army confirmed.

The Skylark drone, which had been on a routine reconnaissance mission, crashed on the outskirts of Aita Shaab in the southern district of Bint Jbeil, but according to the army no sensitive information was compromised and the circumstances behind the crash were being investigated.

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Hezbollah-affiliated television station Al-Manar posted photographs of the UAV before Lebanese authorities confiscated the aircraft for further inspection.   

The Skylark, built by Elbit Systems and operated by the artillery corps, is the IDF’s smallest drone measuring in at seven and a half feet and operates on all fronts for tactical surveillance. It can be launched by one or two soldiers and can be operated on the roof of buildings or in the back of armored personnel carriers, providing live-video to operators once airborne.

In March, Hezbollah claimed to have shot down a Skylark after the group claimed it infiltrated Syrian airspace in Quneitra. The Syrian Defense Ministry later released a statement that its air defense unit had shot down a drone over the outskirts of Quneitra, without specifying the UAV’s origin.  The IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit denied the reports that the drone had been shot down.

While it is considered an effective and popular drone, there have been several crashes since it was delivered to the ground forces in 2010, most recently in April when one crashed east of Gaza City in the area of Saja’iyya.

In January, another Skylark crashed in southern Lebanon after suffering a technical malfunction. While the IDF had tried to locate the drone, Hezbollah reported the following day that they had found pieces of it. A week later the IDF temporarily lost contact with a Skylark over the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus and later located near a Samaria Regional Brigade post following overnight searches.

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In July 2015 another Skylark fell in the Gaza Strip as a result of a malfunction.  Hamas’s military wing recovered the remnants of the crashed drone and later released a video claiming to have put it back together, making it operational.

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