The United States Expresses Concerns Over Potential Israeli Spring Offensive Against Hezbollah in Lebanon

US officials, including those within the Biden administration, are reportedly expressing concerns over Israel’s potential launch of a ground operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon in the coming months. According to a CNN report, the Biden administration has been briefed on this matter and is preparing for the scenario where diplomatic measures fail to compel Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terror group, to withdraw from the border.

A senior official, speaking anonymously, conveyed that the administration is operating under the assumption that a ground operation might take place in the coming months, although not necessarily in the next few weeks. The concern is that Israel could escalate its military campaign, starting with increased airstrikes and potentially expanding to a ground component, reaching populated areas in Lebanon.

Tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have heightened since October 8, with ongoing clashes along Lebanon’s southern border. The Biden administration has assigned special envoy Amos Hochstein to negotiate an end to the hostilities, and France has proposed a plan to settle the disputed Lebanon-Israel frontier and relocate Hezbollah’s Radwan elite unit away from the border. Israel has warned against Hezbollah’s presence along the Lebanon frontier and indicated that a failure in diplomatic efforts could lead to a military offensive.

The senior official emphasized that if negotiations led by Amos Hochstein are successful in achieving a standoff arrangement, the probability of a military operation by Israel later in the year would decrease. However, there is a perception that Israel might be using the threat of military action to encourage a negotiated agreement.

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