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Biden administration concerned Israel will drag US into war with Lebanon, officials reveal

June 16, 2024 at 10:06 am

Israeli army forces deploy along a road near a blaze that erupted after rockets fired from south Lebanon landed near Kfar Szold in the Upper Galilee in northern Israel on 14 June, 2024 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

The administration of United States’ president Joe Biden has grown increasingly concerned that Israel could drag the US into a war in Lebanon, as Tel Aviv continues to escalate tensions on its northern border and scale up attacks on Hezbollah.

According to CBS News, anonymous US officials informed it that the Biden administration views the increasing strikes by Israel’s military on southern Lebanon as the precursor of a full-scale invasion of the country and war with it. Such an event, the officials said, would require the US to intervene and directly support Israel in order to help it win the conflict.

Some of the officials also posed the possibility that the war would be an unintentional one, with Hezbollah potentially retaliating in such a decisive way to the increased Israeli strikes that it inevitably leads to a more direct conflict.

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The growing concerns amongst officials in the Biden administration comes after months of such fears that the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip could spill over into the wider region and develop into a regional war, particularly one in which external powers like the US would become more directly involved within a military capacity.

With Israel’s assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander this week – reportedly the most high-ranking to be killed since the start of recent hostilities – alongside the increased strikes on the border region, the US is apparently beginning to see those fears being realised. Washington is, therefore, reportedly placing its hopes in a ceasefire deal, which Israel has repeatedly been avoiding.

“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”, said one senior US official. “There has to be an agreement that allows Israelis to return to their homes in the North with security guarantees”.