U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati that Washington would not be able to stop Israel from using force if Lebanon based Hezbollah attacks it over the disputed Karish gas field.
Blinken told Mikati that even a small show of force by the Iran-backed militant group could lead to Israel’s retaliation, which the United States would not prevent, according to Saudi media.
Last week, Hezbollah's chief Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against extracting gas from the offshore gas field, saying that “our missiles are locked on Karish.”
Despite the repeated threats from Hezbollah, the maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel - mediated by the US, are “in final stages,” according to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, who told the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka that the agreement would guarantee Lebanon's rights to explore gas and oil in specified fields in its exclusive economic zone.
Israel also said last week that the deal was “possible and necessary,” adding, however, that the production of gas from the Karish rig was not related to the negotiations and that gas production there, would start "without delays as soon as it is possible."
Earlier this month, Lebanese media reported that Washington was rushing Jerusalem to seal the maritime border deal, due to Hezbollah preparing for military action.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.