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US fears being dragged into another war – CBS

The Biden administration is reportedly fretting that escalating salvos between Israel and Hezbollah could trigger a wider conflict

An uptick in attacks between Israel and Hezbollah has reportedly spurred fears in the administration of US President Joe Biden that Washington could be drawn into a broader Middle East war.

US officials are “increasingly concerned” over the possibility of the Israel-Hamas war spiraling into a larger conflict involving Hezbollah and American troops, CBS News reported on Saturday. Exchanges of rocket barrages this week across the Israeli-Lebanese border have raised the risks of not only a larger war, but also of attacks by Iranian-backed militias on American military forces in Syria, Jordan and Iraq, the outlet said.

 Like Hamas, which has been fighting a war with Israel since last October, Hezbollah is supported by Iran. Amos Hochstein, a diplomatic adviser to Biden, is scheduled to travel to Israel on Monday to work on “de-escalating the conflict,” CBS said.

READ MORE: Israeli president threatens war on Hezbollah

Unidentified US officials pointed to several troubling scenarios, including the possibility that deeper strikes into Lebanon by West Jerusalem could signal preparations for a major assault by the Israeli military. The Biden administration also fears that the increasing volume of Hezbollah rocket attacks could provoke Israel to respond in a way that results in an “unintended war,” unidentified officials told CBS.

These officials are increasingly concerned that Israel will start a war against Hezbollah in Lebanon that it cannot finish without American support.”

Washington views the Israeli-Hezbollah tensions and efforts to broker a ceasefire in the war with Hamas as “intertwined.” Any ceasefire agreement will require “specific arrangements” on the Israel-Hezbollah tensions, a senior US official told reporters on Thursday in Italy.

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FILE PHOTO: Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden’s Gaza ceasefire push is a road to fatal escalation

“The most important thing about the hostage release and ceasefire deal that’s on the table now is that if it’s achieved, it can have an impact in the north [of Israel], so that is an opportunity for us to be able to bring this conflict to a full close,” the official said.

Such an agreement would enable residents who were evacuated from northern Israel after the war with Hamas began to return to their homes under security guarantees. Tensions with Hezbollah have become a “potent political issue” within Israel because residents near the Lebanese border have been displaced for more than eight months.

Israeli brigades in the north have been conducting training exercises, but they are not yet in position to launch an attack, a US official told CBS. “Unlike the surprise attack by Hamas in October, a possible war with Hezbollah in Lebanon is something the Israeli military has been gaming out for years,” the outlet said.


June 15, 2024 at 11:29PM

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