INTRODUCTION: Israel has lost its third pilotless reconnaissance plane since anti-aircraft missiles were deployed by Syria on either side of the Syrian-Lebanese border last month.
CU PULL BACK TO SV Crashed drone with shell hole. (MUTE)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Identification number on drone and wreckage. (MUTE)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Drone tail assembly, with brake-parachute and harness. (MUTE)
CU Maker's plate on drone. (MUTE)
SV PAN More wreckage of drone and its equipment. (3 SHOTS) (MUTE)
SV Guard at house entrance. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Begin speaking to reporters in English.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
(SEQ. 7): BEGIN:"It's another serious development, it's the third drone we lost. Of course we didn't lose any pilots and that is the main problem. But it only proves that the S.A.2 is doing a hostile job to watch Israel."
REPORTER:"The missiles that were shot at the drone came apparently from the Syrian border."
BEGIN:"Yes, we know it very well."
REPORTER:"Does this indicate?"
REPORTER:"Does this mean the Syrians would have to withdraw those additional missiles?"
BEGIN:"A already explained the matter, the state of ground (INDISTINCT). There are missiles in Lebanon, they should be removed. There were missiles in Syria and those who were will not be removed, but the additional missiles that were sent there and they should be removed."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Israel has lost its third pilotless reconnaissance plane since anti-aircraft missiles were deployed by Syria on either side of the Syrian-Lebanese border last month. The 3 1/2 metre (12 foot) long machine, which looks more like a model aircraft than a military plane, was reported to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile on Monday (25 May) while flying near the Syrian-Lebanese border.
SYNOPSIS: According to Israeli military official, the reconnaissance plane, known as a drone, was shot down over the Bekaa Valley in East Lebanon and fell to ground near the Syrian summer resort town of Zebadani, just east of the Lebanese frontier. The Israeli military command in Tel Aviv has not disclosed the exact type of drone, but said it was on a routine flight over Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Syria, however, says its air defences fired on the drone after it had violated Syrian airspace 40 kilometres (20 miles) west of Damascus. The pilotless reconnaissance aircraft cost Israel about 500,000 dollars each.
Israel has threatened to use force if diplomatic efforts to secure the withdrawal of the missiles from Lebanon fail. Prime Minister Menachem Begin has not set a deadline for the negotiations spearheaded by U.S. Envoy Philip Habib, but has made it clear he is not prepared to wait much longer. Later at an impromptu news conference, Prime Minister Begin acknowledge that the drone had been shot down by a missile from the Syrian side of the border, and warned of the serious nature of recent developments. He reiterated his call for the rapid removal of the missiles from Lebanon.