U.S. Actions in Middle East Can Spark Israel-Lebanon Conflict, Russian Envoy Warns

U.S. campaign against Iran and Hezbollah making region even more volatile, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin charges

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Haaretz
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File Photo: U.S. Forces in Manbij, northern Syria, March 2018.
File Photo: U.S. Forces in Manbij, northern Syria, March 2018. Credit: Hussein Malla,AP
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Haaretz

U.S. actions in the Middle East can cause a new conflict to erupt between Israel and Lebanon, the Russian envoy to Lebanon warned Saturday.

In an interview with Sputnik, Alexander Zasypkin said that Washington's campaign against Iran and Hezbollah is sowing discord in the region, and that the United States should instead join Russia in calming tensions.

"When events started unfolding in Syria, Hezbollah sided with its lawful authorities, seeing the fight against terrorists in the region as its duty. Hezbollah became directly involved in military operations at Syria’s request, alongside Russia and Iran," Zasypkin added.

>> Read more: Is Trump really pulling U.S. troops out of Syria? | Explained ■ The absence of strategy in Washington's Syria policy

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Pentagon is preparing to pull out "a signifigant portion" of troops by mid-March, with a full withdrawal slated to take place in April.

In two weeks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Russian President Valdimir Putin in Moscow. The two will discuss the strengthening of the security coordination between Israel and Syria following an Israeli airstrike on Damascus Airport which destroyed Russian military infrastructure.

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