A drone that breached Israeli airspace over the northern border with Lebanon escaped Iron Dome anti-aircraft interceptors and was able to turn back, the Israel Defense Forces said Friday. Earlier, the military said it believed that the UAV was downed, but after a canvass of the area, it was determined that the drone was able to cross back into Lebanon, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

Two sirens blared in the Galilee region of northern Israel as the drone crossed into Israeli airspace. The IDF’s investigation so far concluded that the aircraft was small and unarmed.

“Iron Dome interceptors were launched according to protocol and fighter jets were scrambled to patrol the area. No special instructions for civilians in the area have been issued,” said the IDF.

A military source told Channel 12 News that given the concern over Iranian suicide drones, air defenses engaged in full. It is unclear why the target was not intercepted, and the military is looking into that as well, according to the report.

This was the third such incident in the past 24 hours.

On Thursday, the IDF shot down an unmanned aircraft belonging to the Hezbollah terrorist organization after it crossed the Israeli border with Lebanon.

Later on Thursday, the IDF downed another drone, a Hamas UAV that flew over the border with the Gaza Strip and crashed in the coastal enclave after being shot down, the IDF said.

Both drones had been monitored “throughout the incident” before they were downed, the military said in two separate statements.

Thursday’s incidents occurred just a day after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his group was manufacturing military drones in Lebanon and had the technology to turn thousands of missiles in its possession into precision-guided munitions.

The IDF gave no further details on the incidents but said it will “continue to operate in order to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty.”

On Jan. 4, the IDF shot down a Hezbollah UAV flying over the Israel-Lebanon border a day after the anniversary of the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, who was responsible for Iran’s overseas operations and backing of armed groups such as Hezbollah.

This article originally appeared in Israel Hayom.


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