BEIRUT: Lebanese security forces said on Monday they had smashed a Daesh terrorist cell operating near the border with Syria.
Eighteen Lebanese and Syrian nationals were arrested and a large quantity of weapons and ammunition was seized in an intelligence operation in the border town of Arsal, the Armed Forces Command said.
Those arrested “belong to cells linked to the terrorist organization Daesh” and had been “planning to carry out terrorist acts,” a military spokesman said.
Meanwhile the Iran-backed Hezbollah group said it had shot down an Israeli drone after it flew over the UN-demarcated Blue Line border in southern Lebanon. The group released images of a four-armed drone equipped with what appeared to be a camera.
The Israeli military admitted that the drone had come down, but claimed it had crashed. “There is no risk of breach of information,” it said.
Hezbollah said in September 2019 that it would shoot down any Israeli drones flying over Lebanon after an incident the previous month when two drones packed with explosives targeted Hezbollah’s stronghold in south Beirut.
In August 2020, the group shot down and seized an Israeli drone that flew into Lebanese airspace. Israel again said at the time that the drone had “fallen.”
Last week the Israeli army shot down an unmanned aircraft it said had entered its airspace from southern Lebanon.