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Report Claims Another 'Israeli Drone' Downed over Iraq

Lebanese reports say that the Hermes-class drone fell in the skies over Baghdad. Israel has not yet commented.
By Moshe Cohen
First Publish: 8/28/2014, 10:19 AM

Elbit's Hermes UAV
Elbit's Hermes UAV
Israel news photo: Elbit Systems

Yet another Israeli drone has been reported downed – this time in Iraq. According to a report on the Lebanese Al Mayadeen TV channel, considered a mouthpiece for the Hezbollah terror group, an Israeli drone exploded in mid-air over Baghdad. The report claims that the drone was another Hermes-class craft, the same type of drone that Iran claims fell over its airspace earlier this week.

The report said that Iraqi army officials had gathered up what was left of the drone, but were not commenting on the incident at this time. A reporter on the ground in Baghdad said that staff from the US Embassy in Baghdad rushed to the scene of the crash in order to assess the situation.

On Monday, Iran claimed to have downed an Israeli drone as well. “A spy drone of the Zionist regime (Israel) was brought down by a missile... This stealth drone was trying to approach the Natanz nuclear zone," the corps said in a statement on its official website sepahnews.com. “This act demonstrates a new adventurism by the Zionist regime... The Revolutionary Guard and the other armed forces reserve the right to respond to this act," the statement added.

Iranian officials said that the drone was an Israeli-made "Hermes" drone with a maximum flight range of 1,600 km (994 miles) and a 800-km (500 mile) combat radius. The UAV's wings have a 5.5 meter (about 18 feet) wingspan, he added, and two high-quality cameras were mounted on each end to capture precise images. The Al Mayadeen report said that the drone that fell over Baghdad was of the same type.

Hermes UAVs are produced by Israel, but are also used by several western states and by Iran's neighbors, Azerbaijan. As such, it is far from clear which, if any, of the downed drones were in fact employed by Israel.

Last week, Hamas claimed that it, too, had shot down an Israeli drone. The drone fell while it was conducting aerial surveillance of Gaza. Hamas claims to have video of the drone being shot down, but has not yet released it.

The IDF had no comment on Thursday's report.