In what has become a regular occurrence, Israeli jet fighters carried out several low-flying drills over Beirut as reconnaissance drones engines were heard on Sunday, the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported.
According to social media reports, in the last two weeks, the number of low-flying warplanes over the capital has increased, leaving residents worried, as many fear conflict may still break out in the region before US President Donald Trump's term in office ends.
Footage of the alleged Israeli jets in the sky above Lebanon has emerged online, as witnesses rushed to share videos on Twitter. Loud "buzzes" of drones can be heard in the videos.
Lebanese Hezbollah's official Al-Manar TV: "Israeli warplanes and surveillance drones on Sunday staged heavy overflights in Lebanon's airspace... Israeli warplanes overflew Beirut, Sidon and Keserwan... [and] also... over the southern regions of Tyre and Bint Jbeil." pic.twitter.com/gmwp0tbYId— Evan Kohlmann (@IntelTweet) January 10, 2021
Jets as seen over Lebanon's Grand Serail, the Prime Minister HQ. pic.twitter.com/RCKGO9dUg9— Lebanese News and Updates (@LebanonaME) January 10, 2021
Beirut citizens are apparently used to Israeli jet flights over their heads. The IDF aircraft reportedly flew low over Lebanon on Christmas Eve late at night, and videos of the air vehicles allegedly flying over Lebanon en route to Syria were shared online.
Soon after they were followed by Syrian government news agency SANA reports that Israel attempted airstrikes against Syria, but the country's air defence was able to repel most of the missiles.
Since the start of the year, a Twitter account monitoring the movement of aircraft in the Middle East, Intel-Sky, has documented dozens of Israeli jets flying over Lebanon, including what it calls "mock raids".
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon reports that, in violation of UN resolutions and the sovereignty of the region, Israel crosses Lebanese airspace on a regular basis.
A daily average of 12.63 airspace violations, totaling 61 hours and 51 minutes of flight time, was reported by UNIFIL between June and October 2020, a substantial increase from the previous four months. About 95% of the violations were accounted for by drones, according to the data.
At the end of the year, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, claimed the group has doubled its number of high-precision missiles over the year, and they are able to "accurately hit" any target in Israel.