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Lebanon Accuses Israel Of 'Aggression' After Two Drones Hit Hizballah Stronghold In Beirut


A Lebanese Army soldier walks past investigators inspecting the scene where two drones came down in the vicinity of a media center of the Shi'ite Hezballah, south of the capital Beirut on August 25.

Lebanon's military says two Israeli drones hit Hizballah's stronghold in south Beirut, while the Iran-backed Shi’ite movement says one of the aircraft damaged its media center.

The two aircraft violated Lebanese airspace at dawn over the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital, an army statement said on August 25, adding: "The first fell while the second exploded in the air causing material damage."

Prime Minister Saad Hariri called it a "blatant attack on Lebanon's sovereignty" and said this "new aggression" represents a threat to regional stability.

A Hizballah spokesman, Mohamed Afif, said that one of the two drones was rigged with explosives and "exploded causing huge damage to the media center."

"Hizballah did not shoot down any drone," Afif said.

Israeli officials did not comment on the incident, which came hours after Israel said it had struck Iranian forces in neighboring Syria to prevent a pending attack "using killer drones."

The Israeli military said the August 24 strikes targeted Iran's elite Quds Force in Aqraba, southeast of Damascus.

"Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our forces operate in every sector against the Iranian aggression,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Mohsen Rezaei denied that Iranian targets had been hit, the semiofficial ILNA news agency reported.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria against what it describes as Iranian targets and those of allied militias, including Hizballah.

Iran, along with Russia, has given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad crucial backing throughout his country's civil war that began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and the BBC