The Biden administration has privately been urging Israel not to launch a military campaign against Hezbollah, as Washington works to keep the current war from spreading beyond Gaza, media reports said.
The US recognises that Israel must respond to the increased targeting of its northern border by Hezbollah since the shock Hamas onslaught on October 7 in which over 1,400 Israelis were killed, the officials clarified.
But the repeated attacks by the Lebanese group and the fact that Israel failed to anticipate the brutal assault by Hamas from Gaza have led to the intensification of discussions about whether Israel must be the one to initiate a battle against Hezbollah to maintain the upper hand.
Such talk has been cause for concern for the US, which has been privately and publicly warning Hezbollah and Iran not to open a war on Israel’s northern front, the officials said, Times of Israel reported.
The US has cautioned Israel to be careful in its military responses to Hezbollah fire, explaining that an IDF mistake in Lebanon could spark a much larger war, the officials added, the report said.
Biden officials have indicated to Israel in recent days that if Hezbollah initiates a war against Israel, the US military will join the IDF in fighting the militant group, the officials said.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday following his brief solidarity visit to Israel, US President Joe Biden claimed that it “was never said” that the US would join in the event of a front with Hezbollah.