Three Lebanese nationals were arrested for exporting US-based UAV components to Lebanon. The components were shipped through South Africa, where two of the suspects hold citizenship, and London, where the third suspect holds citizenship.

Lebanese and Hezbollah flags

Lebanese and Hezbollah flags Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash 90

Federal prosecutors in Minnesota have indicted three Lebanese nationals with British and South African citizenship for trying to export US-based UAV components to Hezbollah. Two of the suspects were arrested in South Africa and are expected to be extradited to the United States. Most of the UAV components arrived in Lebanon via the United Arab Emirates.

The Minnesota Attorney General said in an official statement that two of the suspects arrested are brothers, Osama and Isam Hamdah, who hold South African citizenship. The third suspect, who is still at large, holds British citizenship.

The three are suspected of trying to export digital technologies and model drawings. Some of the shipments were exported to Lebanon from South Africa, Britain and Minnesota.

Yesterday, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah called on Lebanese officials to reject the US’ suggestions regarding the disputed Lebanese-Israeli maritime border. Nasrallah also mentioned in his speech that the downing of an Israeli aircraft by Syria last week was a great military success.

Last week, tensions between Israel and Syria rapidly increased after the Israeli Air Force shot down an Iranian drone that had infiltrated Israeli airspace. In retaliation, Israel fighter jets targeted Syrian and Iranian military positions in Syria. One of the jets was hit by Syrian anti-aircraft fire and went down in Israeli territory.