The two drones that crashed in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Aug. 25 targeted equipment used to manufacture precision-guided missiles, according to a report by The Times.
The drones reportedly damaged an Iranian-made mixer used to make solid-state fuel and destroyed a computerized control mechanism capable of turning simple rockets into precision missiles.
Israel has previously expressed the threat posed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s long-range precision missiles, vowing to undermine any efforts to stockpile such weaponry.
According to a Hezbollah statement, which called the drone crash a “bombing attack,” the drones were armed with 5.5 kilograms (11 pounds) of “professionally wrapped and isolated” C4 explosives. A first drone fell at 2:30 a.m. local time due to a technical failure, according to the statement, causing an explosion that damaged Hezbollah’s media office and wounded three people. A second drone was recovered by Hezbollah after teenagers saw it hovering and struck it down with rocks.
The drone crash occurred the morning after Israeli strikes in Syria that killed two Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) operative.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun declared the drone crash a “declaration of war” and Hezbollah blamed Israel for the first “hostile action” by Israel in Lebanon since the 2006 Second Lebanese War. The Israel Defense Forces has refused to comment on the foreign report.
In a speech following the drone crash, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned the Israeli army on the northern border to “wait for our response, which may take place at any time on the border and beyond the border.”
“Be prepared and wait for us,” he said.
Note: Media reports claim that the destruction of the mixer was a major setback for the Hezbollah rocket program, delaying the program by at least one year.