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US warns Israel against escalating conflict in Lebanon

The United States has recently cautioned Israel against considering a “limited war” in Lebanon, fearing it could provoke Iranian intervention and escalate the conflict beyond control, according to media reports on Thursday.

Citing American and Israeli officials, Axios reported growing concerns within the Israeli military that the situation in Lebanon has reached a critical juncture.

Efforts by the United States and France to broker a diplomatic resolution to ease tensions between Hezbollah and Israel along the Lebanese border have yet to yield significant progress.

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The Biden administration believes that achieving calm on the Israeli-Lebanese border is contingent upon securing a ceasefire in Gaza, according to the report.

US officials told Axios that the Biden administration has conveyed to Israel that a “limited war in Lebanon” or a “small regional war” is not a viable option, as it would be “challenging to prevent such a conflict from escalating uncontrollably.”

Washington has warned Israel that a ground invasion of Lebanon, even if limited to border areas, would likely prompt Iranian intervention.

One scenario discussed by the administration with Israel involves the possibility of “Lebanon being flooded with fighters from Iranian-backed militias in Syria, Iraq, and even Yemen, eager to join the battle.”

An Israeli official noted that while the Israeli war council has not made any decisions regarding Lebanon, the Israeli military has proposed several options for escalating the conflict, including a ground invasion aimed at pushing Hezbollah’s Radwan unit away from the border.

Notably, Hezbollah is one of the most powerful paramilitary forces in the Middle East that has been deeply involved in intense, near-daily cross-border fighting with Israel since October 7, marking the most significant escalation since the 2006 war.

 

 

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