Lebanon Accuses Israel of Trying to Stir Up Regional Tensions

BEIRUT/YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said two Israeli drones which crashed in a suburb of Beirut dominated by Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists were designed to stir up regional tensions.

One drone fell and a second exploded before dawn and caused some damage to Hezbollah’s media center in the southern Dahiyeh suburbs, a Hezbollah official told Reuters, in the first such incident since the two sides waged war in 2006.

“The new aggression…constitutes a threat to regional stability and an attempt to push the situation towards further tension,” Hariri said in a statement from his office.

Later on Sunday, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a broadcast speech: “The latest Israeli development (is) very, very, very dangerous.”

The Israeli military declined to comment.

A spokesman for Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said that Israeli drones that fell in Beirut had certain “targets” which investigations had so far not established.

Hezbollah’s media officer Muhammad Afif told reporters that the group’s “position in response to this aggression” would come in the speech of the group’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah later on Sunday.

Residents in Dahiyeh said they heard a blast. A witness said the army shut the streets where a fire had started. A Hezbollah spokesman told Lebanon’s NNA news agency the second drone carried explosives causing serious damage to the media complex.

Hezbollah is now examining the first drone, he said. The Lebanese army said that one Israeli drone fell and another exploded at 02:30 am local time (2330 GMT), causing only material damage.


Updated Sunday, August 25, 2019 at 4:34 pm Nasrallah comment