The White House is unconvinced the group will “go in full force” to support Gaza
The US has seen no signs that Hezbollah is preparing a major offensive against Israel, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
“Obviously, we’re concerned about continued attacks on Israeli forces there in the north, as are the Israelis,” Kirby said. “But I don’t believe we’ve seen any indication yet specifically that Hezbollah is ready to go in full force.”
Earlier in the day, the Shia militia said it had struck 19 Israeli positions across the Lebanese border. Hezbollah has also said that about 50 of its fighters have died over the past month in clashes with Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is scheduled to make his first public speech since Israel went to war with Hamas, following the Palestinian group’s incursion from Gaza on October 7. A Hezbollah video going viral on social media is suggesting Nasrallah will “push the button” and openly enter the conflict, as Yemen has already done.
“We’ll see what he has to say,” is how Kirby responded when asked what the US was expecting from Nasrallah’s speech.
The US has warned Hezbollah to stay out of the conflict, he added, noting that “we’ve got significant national interests at play here.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also warned Hezbollah against opening a second front, threatening counter-strikes of “unimaginable” magnitude that would devastate Lebanon.
Iran, meanwhile, blamed the US for giving Israel a blank check for bombing Gaza. Speaking at the UN last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said “new fronts will be opened up against the United States” if Washington does not change course.
Israel’s incursion into Gaza — Live Updates
According to several US outlets, citing anonymous sources in the White House, President Joe Biden’s administration has been concerned that an Israeli ground attack on Gaza could draw Hezbollah and Iran into the conflict. IDF ground troops entered Gaza last week and on Thursday announced they had reached the road that runs along the Mediterranean Sea, cutting the enclave in half.
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