Israeli military says attempt to down one of its drones over Lebanon failed

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s military said an anti-aircraft missile was fired from Lebanon at one of its drones on Thursday but the aircraft was not hit in the rare launch.

A military spokesman made the statement on Twitter after Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV reported an Israeli drone was brought down near the town of Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon.

Neither side immediately identified who in Lebanon might have carried out the anti-aircraft fire. But an Israeli security source said Hezbollah was responsible.

Lebanon’s biggest militia, Iran-backed Hezbollah had vowed in August to shoot down Israeli drones in Lebanese airspace. That followed a suspected Israeli drone strike on a Hezbollah-linked facility in Beirut.

Tensions have risen between them as U.S. sanctions squeeze Iran, which Israel accuses of trying to set up precision-missile plants for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah has denied having such sites.

Reporting by Dan Williams; Editing by Mark Heinrich