US Warns Netanyahu Against Major Offensive In Southern Lebanon

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 05, 2024 - 11:10 PM

The United States is warning Israel against "escalation" in Lebanon following fresh Wednesday remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which threatened a major offensive due to ratcheting Hezbollah attacks. "We are prepared for a very intense operation in the north. One way or another, we will restore security to the north," Netanyahu said on a visit to the region.

"We don’t want to see that escalation of the conflict which would just lead to further loss of life from both Israelis and the Lebanese people and would greatly harm Israel’s overall security and stability in the region," State Department spokesman Matthew Miller responded in a daily briefing.

Associated Press: Israeli forces have been striking targets inside Lebanon as they increasingly exchange fire with Hezbollah.

The Biden State Dept. spox urged caution while appearing to downplay the latest bellicose words out of Tel Aviv. "The statements from the Israeli government saying that they are ready for military operation, if necessary, (are) different than saying that they have made a decision to conduct a military operation," Miller continued.

"We are still in a place where we believe they prefer a diplomatic solution," he said while adding that the US fully understands the "untenable situation for Israel" on its northern border.

"There are tens of thousands of Israeli citizens who cannot return to their homes in the north of Israel because it’s not safe to do so because of the … constant Hezbollah shelling and drone attacks in the area," Miller emphasized.

Not only have fires ripped across large swathes of the Galilee region this week as a result of wildfires sparked by Hezbollah drone and rocket attacks, but the Shia paramilitary group backed by Iran has been scoring more and more direct hits on IDF bases and settlements in northern Israel.

On Wednesday an explosive-laden drone was sent against the town of Hurfeish, located several kilometers from the Lebanon border, which wounded at least eleven Israelis, with one in critical condition. Sirens reportedly failed to sound as the drone as inbound, and the IDF says it is investigating.

Times of Israel details, "According to initial military assessments, the two drones impacted within a few minutes of each other, with the second seemingly targeting rescue crews who arrived to treat those wounded by the first. Hezbollah has employed such a tactic several times amid the war."

Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying it was retaliation for a Tuesday Israeli attack Naqoura which took out a Hezbollah member.

The group's leader, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, has been warning that the world will witness Israeli tanks "burn" if they try to enter Lebanese territory...

During the 2006 war Hezbollah shocked IDF commanders by its performance on the battlefield and effective guerilla tactics, and there has since been a general consensus that the group (which receives assistance from the IRGC) is more formidable than previously thought.