Israel Taking on Hezbollah Could Spark Larger War
After Israel failed to predict Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, the US cautioned that an IDF mistake in Lebanon against the Hezbollah could trigger a larger war. The militant group has been firing at Israel from across the Lebanon border since October 7.
Two Hezbollah militants were killed in clashes with the Israeli army in southern Lebanon today. The number now stands at 12 since the outbreak of violence between the two sides. But Israel fighting both the Hamas and Hezbollah has unnerved the US’s Biden administration.
Israel remains adamant in fighting terrorists and warned Hezbollah of a deadly response if it continued to carry out attacks against Israel.
Iran and Hezbollah Target Israel
Moreover, Iran has threatened Israel of preemptive action if it continues to escalate war in the Gaza Strip. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian Foreign Minister, said a political settlement of the situation in the Gaza Strip is becoming increasingly unlikely. He added that Iran did not intend to engage in a military conflict with Tel Aviv, if Israel did not strike Iranian territory.
But the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran and Hezbollah shouldn’t test Israel in the north. “The price you will have to pay will be much higher. I am telling you in Hebrew what the president of the United States said in English: don’t do it.”
Sara Bazoobandi, a researcher at the German Institute for Global and Regional Studies, says Iran is one of the long-time sponsors of Hamas. She said it is one of the group’s main aides in terms of organizing training and logistics, smuggling weapons.
“In terms of the attack on Israel, there are points that raise the question of whether Iran was directly involved in its preparation. One example is the infiltration of militants into Israeli territory. One cannot learn to fly paragliders in the tunnels of Gaza or in an area that is under the watchful eye of the Israeli military. They practiced and developed these skills elsewhere.”
Bazoobandi described Iran as the master of creating and conducting proxy wars. “They invest financially, militarily, technologically in the development of the so-called axis of resistance in the region.” Iran has been trying to avoid direct confrontation with anyone since the end of the Iran-Iraq war.
US Will Join Israel if Need Arises
Israeli officials believe that if Hezbollah initiates a war against Israel, the US military will join the IDF in fighting the terror group. However, the President Joe Biden said it was never said that the US would join in the event of a front with Hezbollah.
John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, told reporters there was no intention to put US boots on the ground in combat. But he said the US has its national security interests. “We’ll protect them if we need to.”
Kirby said the aircraft carrier strike groups sent to the eastern Mediterranean was to deter Israeli and American adversaries in the region from taking action. He highlighted this as sufficient, credible military force. “If Biden decides that the forces need to be used to defend our interests, we’ll do that.”