Blinking towards Israel due to fears of wider regional conflict


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on his way to the Middle East amid heightened fears that the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will now spread further into the region.

The visit follows deadly explosions in Iran and the death of a Hamas leader in Lebanon in an airstrike this week.

A US official confirmed the trip to AFP on condition of anonymity, but did not divulge any further details about the itinerary – except that Blinken will stop in Israel.

This will be Blinken’s fourth visit to the region since the start of the war in October last year.

The announcement about his latest visit comes after at least 95 people were killed in two explosions in Iran on Wednesday. According to reports, more than 200 people were injured in the incidents. Tehran quickly blamed the US and Israel for these attacks.

However, Washington has rejected allegations that these two countries are involved.

A US official did tell AFP that the airstrike that claimed the life of Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas’ deputy chief executive, was carried out by Israel.

Matthew Miller, spokesman for the US Department of State, also expressed the fear that the war might break out.

“It is in nobody’s interest that the war spreads further than it already has – in the interest of no country in the region or no country in the world,” said Miller.

The Israeli army said after Al-Arouri’s death that Israel was prepared for any possible scenario that could unfold now. Hezbollah, an Islamist political party in Iran that supports Hamas, described Al-Arouri’s death as an attack on Lebanon and said it had dangerous consequences.

Conflict also threatens to expand to Yemen after the US and its allies threatened Houthi rebels with unspecified consequences if they continue their attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

The rebels have carried out a wave of attacks on ships in the Red Sea aimed at increasing pressure on Israel over its devastating war against the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.