Israeli UAS – the facts and the fiction

Unmanned air systems (UAS) are the subject of many stories, most of which cannot be verified. This is especially true in the Middle East, where Israeli-made UAS are operated every day in many types of combat scenario.

For years, the Palestinians in Gaza have been claiming the Israeli airforce’s (IAF) UAS have been attacking members of terror organisations there that have attacked, or were planning atrocities against, Israel.

Recently, the UAS Halo in the region became more impressive, when the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV network claimed an Israeli UAS destroyed a sophisticated listening device planted in southern Lebanon by Israel.

According to this report, the device was uncovered by Hezbollah and was destroyed minutes later by an IAF UAS. It was not clear from this unconfirmed report whether the UAS bombed the device or activated a self-destruct charge that was part of it.

The UN Interim Force in Lebanon said its preliminary probe into two explosions in the south showed they had been caused by the detonation of underground sensors.

UNIFIL was investigating what had caused the devices to blow up. A Lebanese security official said they appeared to have been detonated by remote control from Israel after their discovery by Lebanese security forces.

Israel did not respond specifically to the reports from Lebanon. That added to the mystery that surrounds the operations of UAS by the IAF.

Israel has never reacted to reports of “killer UAS” that allegedly perform “surgical” attacks in the Gaza Strip. And Israel has not reacted to the report from earlier this week.

This is the way “combat fiction” stories are born. In some cases, with time, it becomes clear what is fiction and what is based on facts that have been kept secret for a long while.

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