US urges Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel

US urges Lebanon to prevent Hezbollah attacks on Israel

The United States is the leading international supporter of Israel and earlier said that the Jewish state had a right to defend itself

Israeli forces fire artillery from their position on the border with Lebanon after a barrage of rockets were fired from Lebanon. Creidt: AP Photo

The United States on Friday urged Lebanon's government to prevent Hezbollah militants from firing rockets into Israel, as tensions between the long-time foes escalated.

"We call upon the Lebanese government urgently to prevent such attacks and bring the area under its control," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

"We strongly encourage all efforts to maintain calm."

Hezbollah, a Shiite movement backed by Iran, has long exerted a powerful role in Lebanon, which is wracked by an economic meltdown and has only had a caretaker government for nearly a year.

The United States said it condemned "in the strongest terms" the volley of rockets fired by Hezbollah into Israel, which responded with its first air strikes on its northern neighbor in seven years.

The United States is the leading international supporter of Israel and earlier said that the Jewish state had a right to defend itself.

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