BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Drone over Maarab complex likely Israeli: Charbel

File - Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel is seen in Beirut, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: The mysterious drone spotted over the residence of the Lebanese Forces leader Samir Gegea likely belongs to Israel, caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said in remarks published Saturday.

“This type of aircraft could carry a missile that weighs around 200 or 300 kilograms and it is likely to be an Israeli drone,” Charbel told Al-Joumhouria newspaper.

Israel is known for sending drones on reconnaissance missions over south Lebanon.

Charbel revealed that a police report confirmed the drone was seen with the naked eye above Maarab, north of Beirut, where the LF headquarters is located.

“The matter isn't a joke,” he said.

The minister said necessary measures should be taken to protect Maarab, acknowledging that there were discussions of possibly using anti-aircraft guns to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicle.

Last week, the LF informed the Lebanese Army that guards at Geagea’s residence spotted what appeared to be a drone in the airspace above Maarab.

This was the second drone sighting reported by the LF. Last month, the party said a drone carried out flights over the Maarab complex for a period of two weeks.

Charbel said necessary steps should be taken to safeguard figures facing death threats.

In April 2012, Geagea said he had escaped an alleged assassination attempt by snipers as he was taking a walk in the garden of his Maarab residence.

 

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