UN Chief Warns of Wider West Asia Conflict As Israel Threatens Lebanon

UN Chief Warns of Wider West Asia Conflict As Israel Threatens Lebanon

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres issued a stark warning about the potential for a wider conflict in West Asia following threats from Israeli officials to invade Lebanon.

Speaking to reporters in New York, Guterres highlighted the increasing risk of the conflict expanding, pointing to the daily exchanges of fire and hostile rhetoric between Israel and Hezbollah.

"I felt compelled today to voice my profound concerns about the escalation between Israel and Hezbollah along the Blue Line," Guterres stated.

He expressed alarm over the continued exchanges of fire and aggressive rhetoric from both sides, suggesting that an all-out war seemed imminent.

"The risk of the conflict in the Middle East widening is real -- and must be avoided. One rash move – one miscalculation -- could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination," he warned.

Guterres emphasized that Lebanon cannot afford to become another Gaza, underscoring the dire consequences of such an outcome.

"The parties must urgently recommit to the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 and immediately return to a cessation of hostilities," he urged.

"Civilians must be protected. Children, journalists, and medical workers should never be targeted, and displaced communities must be able to return to their homes. The world must say loudly and clearly that immediate de-escalation is not only possible, it is essential. There is no military solution," he added.

The UN chief noted that UN peacekeepers are actively working to calm the situation and prevent any miscalculations.

"For our part, the United Nations is actively engaging to promote peace, security, and stability in line with Security Council Resolution 1701. UN peacekeepers are on the ground, working to de-escalate tensions and prevent miscalculations in an extremely challenging environment," Guterres said.

Hezbollah initiated the current round of operations against Israel on October 8, following Israel's launch of a war on Gaza aimed at eliminating resistance factions.

Hezbollah says its actions are intended to support Gaza's resistance and pressure Israel to cease its operations, which have resulted in over 35,000 Gazan deaths, mostly women and children.

The exchange of fire intensified after Israel assassinated senior Hezbollah commander Sami Taleb Abdallah last week.

In response, Hezbollah has fired hundreds of rockets into northern occupied Palestinian territories. 

On Tuesday, the Israeli army announced it had approved plans for an attack on Lebanon, raising fears of a broader conflict.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah’s Secretary General Seyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed that "no place" in Israeli-occupied territories would be "spared our rockets" if a wider war began.

Nasrallah also mentioned that an incursion into the Galilee region remains a possibility if Israel invades southern Lebanon.

Additionally, he said they would attack any other country in the region that supports Israel in the war, specifically mentioning Cyprus, which has hosted Israeli forces for training exercises.

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