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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hezbollah takes credit for Iranian made drone, says it achieved objectives

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is making a speech in Lebanon now, and the first topic he is speaking about is the UAV that made it to Israeli territory last week. From Now Lebanon:

-The main topic I will discuss is the reconnaissance drone which crossed into the space of occupied Palestinian lands.

-After this, I will address other issues which received attention in Lebanon and [the region], depending on time.

-First of all, regarding the drone, we are witnessing a unique operation in the history of Lebanon and the region.

-The Resistance claims responsibility for the operation.

-The Resistance in Lebanon sent a sophisticated reconnaissance drone from Lebanon toward the [Mediterranean] Sea, which it crosses for hundreds of kilometers, before it entered [Israeli airspace] and hovered over many important locations before it was discovered by the Israeli air force.

- Today, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu held Hezbollah responsible for [sending] the drone.

-The drone was not Russian made, but Iranian. It was [assembled] in Lebanon.

-The drone took off in the specified trajectory for hundreds kilometers and arrived in an area close to the [Israeli] Dimona [nuclear] plant.

-As for the Israeli [claims] that they discovered it over the sea, and [forced it over] land, I say they are lying to their people.
-The achievement [was to make] the drone fly all this way in an area full of US-Israeli [air defense] systems.

-The shoot down of the drone was natural and expected.

-We will leave it for the Israelis to sit down and [discover] the drone’s abilities to gather information… We are revealing part of our capabilities and concealing many others.

-In light of this event we recall the over 20,000 Israeli violations [of Lebanese airspace] at the time when the government is unable [to prevent the violations] and the international community is silent.

-It is our natural right to launch other reconnaissance [operations] to occupied Palestine whenever we want. This will not be the first time and not the last. We stress that we can reach any [location] we want.

-We named the operation after martyr Hussein Ayoub who was the first [Hezbollah] expert in this field. We want to name the drone “Ayoub” [which is also the name] of our prophet.

There are many unanswered questions about the UAV and the Israeli response to it. While Nasrallah is obviously engaging in serious spin, it would have been nice if Israel had put out a consistent story about why it was allowed to fly for so long over Israeli territory and why it was shot down the way it was.