First on CNN: US rebukes Israel for more than 30 attacks on Lebanese military amid concerns of Gaza conflict widening

CNN — Israel’s military has repeatedly attacked the US-backed Lebanese army to the north over the past two months, prompting alarm in the Biden administration and sharp rebukes from top US officials to Israeli leadership. The Israelis have struck Lebanese Armed Forces positions more than 34 times since October 7, including with small arms and artillery fire, drones and helicopters, according to US officials, a regional security source, and a list of the incidents compiled by the US and reviewed by CNN. The Biden administration has told Israel that the strikes are unacceptable, officials said. One senior US official said that the US believes at least some of those strikes have been accidental, intended instead for the powerful Shiite Lebanese militant group Hezbollah which also operates along the Lebanon-Israel border and has been hitting Israeli military positions. But the intention of other strikes has been less clear, the official said, and more junior Israeli troops may not be exercising enough restraint. But the scope of the incidents, which has not been previously reported, has frustrated US officials because the US believes the LAF will need to be part of any eventual diplomatic solution between Israel and Lebanon to quiet the current violence. The US is also deeply concerned that the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza could expand to the north, and US officials have been working with Israel and Lebanon to try to contain the war. “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 spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council told CNN. “The United States is proud […]

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