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‘Hezbollah’ Develops Iranian Drone to Use in Qalamoun Outskirts | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Lebanese ‘Hezbollah’ militant carries his weapon as he stands in Khashaat, in the Qalamoun region on May 15, 2015. (Reuters)

Beirut – Photographs released by Lebanon’s “Hezbollah” war media showed a remarkable development in its arsenal with new drones capable of carrying missiles. These drones appear to be a development of Iranian warplanes of the same kind – but bigger – that are being used in Syria.

“Hezbollah” used the drone for the first time in the border region of al-Qalamoun to target ISIS terrorists, but did not disclose further details about them. It only said that they were being employed to strike ISIS positions and fortifications in Qalamoun, near the border with Lebanon.

These photographs reflect a development in the military industries of “Hezbollah”.

The armed group originally announced that it was manufacturing drones back in October 2012 when Israeli warplanes shot down a drone that the party later claimed as its own.

Hisham Jaber, head of the Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the drone revealed on Monday is “small and capable of carrying up to six medium-sized munitions.”

He added that “they are controlled from close range and can fly at an altitude of 200-300 meters for an hour.” Such warplanes are used to strike tactical targets, he continued.

Iran uses such drones in Syria and they were first revealed when they flew beside US military bases in al-Tanf at the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle. The US warplanes shot down one such drone two months ago, making it more probable that the drones are manufactured by Iran.

“But these drones are smaller than the Iranian ones in Tanf. It is easy to deliver small parts of the drone to Syria where they are manufactured and armed by ‘Hezbollah’ technicians,” Jaber stated.