State Department warns Hezbollah

State Department official voices concern over "destabilizing role" of Iranian proxies in Middle East.

Elad Benari ,

State Department building
State Department building
Thinkstock

The United States on Sunday voiced concern over the "destabilizing role" of Iranian proxies in the Middle East following Hezbollah’s firing of missiles into northern Israel.

A State Department official quoted by AFP said the US "supports Israel's right to self-defense".

"Hezbollah should refrain from hostile actions which threaten Lebanon's security, stability and sovereignty," the official added.

Earlier on Sunday, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, backed Israel’s use of force on terrorist targets in southern Lebanon.

Greenblatt blamed Iran for the flare up, which saw multiple anti-tank missiles fired from southern Lebanon towards Israeli vehicles and an army base near the town of Avivim, in northern Israel.

“Missiles fired from Lebanon into Israel. Iran has proxies in Lebanon and Gaza that harm Israel, undermine chances for peace and threaten a better future for Palestinians,” Greenblatt tweeted.

“The US stands with Israel and fully supports its right to defend itself against all attacks,” he added.

Israeli forces had retaliated on a number of targets in southern Lebanon, firing over 100 artillery shells and using airstrikes against Hezbollah sites.

Hezbollah claimed that it destroyed an armored Israeli vehicle, killing and injuring crew members inside.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied the claim, however, saying that no Israeli personnel were killed or wounded Sunday.

Prior to the comments by Greenblatt and the State Department official, Lebanon reached out to both the US and France, urging the two countries to intervene following the escalation.




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