Beirut: Iran’s foreign minister warned Friday that if Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip don’t stop immediately, the violence could spread to other parts of the Middle East, media reported.
Hossein Amirabdollahian is on a tour that took him to Baghdad before Beirut, and later in the day he is scheduled to travel to the Syrian capital, Damascus. Iran sponsors powerful militant groups in the region, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and groups within the Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq, The New Arab reported.
Amirabdollahian spoke to reporters in Beirut after a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, during which the two officials called for an end to Israel’s attacks on Gaza. He also met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, as well as caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the speaker of the Parliament.
There have been concerns that the war could spread to Lebanon’s border where Hezbollah fighters have been on alert following Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on Saturday that left hundreds of people dead, The New Arab reported.
On Thursday, Israel’s military struck two of Syria’s main international airports, in Damascus and Aleppo, putting them out of service. Flights were diverted to an airport in the coastal province of Latakia. The strikes came after shells were fired from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Sporadic acts of violence along the Lebanon-Israel border over the past days left three Hezbollah fighters dead on Monday. Israel’s military said one Israeli soldier was killed in an anti-tank missile attack on Wednesday, The New Arab reported.
“What is funny is that at a time when America is calling on parties for self restraint, it is allowing the criminals in the fake Zionist entity to kill women, children and civilians in Gaza,” Amirabdollahian said.
He warned that “if these organized war crimes that are committed by the Zionist entity don’t stop immediately, then we can imagine any possibility.” He did not elaborate but it was an apparent hint that Iran-backed groups could join the war, The New Arab reported.