The three Hezbollah unmanned aerial vehicles intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces on Saturday as they flew in the direction of Israel’s Karish offshore natural gas rig were made in Iran, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday.
Speaking to Israeli military reporters, Gantz also called for the international community to cooperate on reducing Iran’s power and influence in the region, and to come up with a better formula for an improved nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, Israel Hayom reported.
On Wednesday, the IDF revealed that in addition to the three Hezbollah UAVs shot down on Saturday, a fourth Hezbollah UAV was also shot down, over Lebanese waters, on June 29.
One of the UAVs that was downed on Saturday was hit by a missile fired by an Israeli F-16 fighter jet, while the other two were intercepted by Barak 1 type missiles fired by the INS Eilat missile corvette, according to the IDF. All three were shot down over the Mediterranean Sea, the IDF said.
The Israeli defense research group the Alma Center assessed in December 2021 that Hezbollah in Lebanon has amassed around 2,000 UAVs—a dramatic leap from the approximate 50 that it had in 2006.
“It is the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ logistics Directorate that is in charge of transporting and deploying the UAV Army throughout the Middle East. This includes the trafficking and distribution of these systems to all Iranian proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Gaza,” said the report.