Following news stating that the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party, and its Christian ally Michel Aun, decided on Wednesday January 12, to quit the coalition of the Lebanese unity government, the United States, Israel and France started diplomatic moves said to be aiming at thwarting possible clashes between Hezbollah and Israel.According to the Israeli-run intelligence and security news service, Debka Files, Hezbollah and its allies struck a deal to quit the government coalition, an issue that could cause its collapse, after a special tribunal said it would be announcing indictments naming Hezbollah officials believed to be involved in the assassination if former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri, in 2005.
Hezbollah denied the claims and said it has nothing to do with the assassination of Hariri, and reportedly refused to hand over some of its top officials, the Lebanese government wants extradited.
Amidst these reports and the possibility of the collapse of the Lebanese government that would potentially raise the odds of Hezbollah to gain more power, Israel, the United States and France started extensive talks to determine a course of action.
U.S.. President, Barack Obama, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Al Hariri, held extensive talks and Washington and New York in order to have a united front against what was described as “disruptions backed by Iran in Lebanon through the Hezbollah Party and its allies”.
Military and diplomatic plans were prepared by the US, France and Israel, but the United States is also reportedly planning further talks with Lebanon to prepare cooperation scenarios involving a potential future act to counter the current events.
Obama had already ordered American vessels of the Sixth Fleet, and the USS Enterprise carrier, based in the Mediterranean, to maintain readiness for possible hostile scenarios.
The USS enterprise has 6.000 marines and sailors, 80 fighter-bombers and a Bainbridge missile destroyer, the Dekba files reported.
On Monday, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, toured the gulf area and said that she is concerned over the situation in Lebanon.
She “warned” that Hezbollah is acting to destabilize Lebanon and added that the U.S. should do whatever it can to ensure that the reports are inaccurate.
The move that does not necessarily interpret a nearing war with Hezbollah, but it is likely a message from Washington and its allies that they are ready “to defend the government of Hariri”, and will also be ready to deploy the marines and the air force in the area to counter “attempts by Hezbollah to control the government”.
The escalation also comes following statements made Tuesday by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who stated that Hezbollah has 60.000 rockets aimed at Israel.
The Debka files quoted unnamed sources stating that Hezbollah could be seeking a move that would bring about retaliation and possible moves that would push for clashes with the U.S. and French forces, and also with Israel.