As the Lebanese military group Hezbollah launched a salvo of missiles onto northern Israel on Monday, the top general of the United States advised Iran not to get involved in the issue in Israel and stated that he did not want the conflict to grow.
Although the United States has no intelligence or proof indicating that Iran directly took part in assaults in Israel by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the White House claimed earlier on Monday that Iran was implicated. General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded, “Not to get involved,” when asked what his message to Iran was.
At least three Hezbollah fighters were killed by Israeli bombardment on Lebanon on Monday, while Israel claimed one of its officers was killed during an earlier cross-border incursion that Palestinians in Lebanon claimed was theirs.
A war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza was significantly extended by the cross-border violence to the Israeli-Lebanese border farther north.
Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah engaged in a devastating month-long conflict in 2006.
“We want to send a pretty strong message. We do not want this to broaden and the idea is for Iran to get that message loud and clear,” Brown told a small group of reporters travelling with him to Brussels in his first public remarks since being confirmed to the position last month.
In order to assist Israel in responding to a rare weekend attack by Hamas, the US military is “surging” new supplies of air defences, ammunition, and other security assistance to the former nation.
The Pentagon revealed on Sunday that it would be sending a strike group of aircraft carriers closer to Israel. “It sends a very strong message of support for Israel. But it’s also to send a strong message of deterrence to contain broadening this particular conflict,” Brown said.
He contrasted the behaviour of Hamas to that of ISIS fighters.
Brown directed coalition air operations against the Islamic State while serving as the deputy commander of US Central Command, which coordinates military operations in the Middle East.