The Biden administration has told Israel that attacks intentionally or inadvertently against Lebanon’s armed forces are “unacceptable” over fears that the conflict in the Middle East could expand, according to a report.
US officials believe that since Oct. 7 at least 34 Israeli strikes have hit areas where members of the Lebanese Armed Forces were present, resulting in eight injuries and one death, CNN reported Friday.
“The United States has been clear we do not want to see this conflict spread to Lebanon and we continue to urge the Israelis do all they can to be targeted and avoid civilians, civilian infrastructure, civilian farmland, the UN, and the Lebanese Armed Forces,” a White House National Security Council spokesperson told the outlet.
“The United States is proud of its partnership with the LAF, an essential institution, not only to the stability and security of Lebanon, but of the entire region,” the spokesperson said.
The purported Israel Defense Forces strikes against the Lebanese military have come from small arms, artillery fire, drones and helicopters, according to CNN.
The Biden administration believes some of the strikes were accidental and aimed at hitting Hezbollah terror group targets. Hezbollah is backed by the Iranian regime and operates in Lebanon.
The intention of other strikes are “less clear,” a US official told CNN, suggesting that some Israeli troops are not showing enough restraint with their fire.
“In response to Hezbollah’s aggression, the IDF strikes the terrorist organization’s military infrastructure and works to eliminate any threat to the State of Israel,” IDF spokesperson Nir Dinar told the outlet.
“Any harm to civilians and other forces is unintentional. Such incidents are reviewed in order to improve operational precautions and to ensure accountability when necessary.”
The US has spent more than $3 billion to fund, train and equip the Lebanese Armed Forces since 2006 with the goal of the army serving as ”a stabilizing force against regional threats,” according to the State Department.
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