The Latest: Lebanese army fires at 2 Israeli drones

International News

Lebanese soldiers next to a Hezbollah flag patrol in the southern Lebanese village of Aitaroun, on the Israel-Lebanon border, Israel, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Israeli forces along the border with Lebanon are on high alert, raising fears of a repeat of the 2006 war. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on tensions between Lebanon and Israel (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Lebanon’s official news agency and a security official say the military has fired at two Israeli reconnaissance drones that violated Lebanese airspace.

The National News Agency says the incident happened Wednesday night over the village of Odeisseh, near Marjayoun, near the border with Israel. It was not immediately clear whether any of the drones were shot down.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

The incident came just days after an alleged Israeli drone crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut while another exploded and crashed nearby. The Lebanese group Hezbollah called it an act of aggression vowed to retaliate against the attack.

The Lebanese army and government officials have also described the drone crash incidents as an attempted attack and violation of sovereignty and asserted Lebanon’s right to self-defense.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on Wednesday’s incident.

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1 p.m.

The Lebanese militant Hezbollah group is ruling out a wider war with Israel but says it will carry out a surprise attack in retaliation for an alleged Israeli drone assault south of Beirut over the weekend.

Naim Kassem told Russia Today in an interview that aired late on Tuesday that Hezbollah will not be “intimidated by threats of war in order not to retaliate. There was an aggression and we said we will retaliate and this is what will happen.”

He refused to elaborate, saying that “we want the strike to be surprising and therefore, it is not in our interest to reveal more details.”

Kassem’s comments came just days after an alleged Israeli drone crashed in a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut while another exploded and crashed nearby.

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