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Ghost cities on the border of Lebanon and Israel in the face of a possible Iranian attack

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Ghost cities on the border of Lebanon and Israel in the face of a possible Iranian attack

CNN Correspondents Report from Southern Lebanon Amid Crossfire

In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Hezbollah militants and Israeli forces in southern Lebanon, CNN correspondents joined a Spanish battalion patrolling the area on Friday. The effects of the six months of crossfire were evident, with destroyed infrastructure and ghost towns scattered across the region.

According to local authorities, more than 30,000 people have been displaced from the immediate border area, with only one school remaining operational. The toll of the conflict includes over 300 deaths, mostly fighters, in Israeli attacks, and eight civilians killed in Hezbollah attacks in northern Israel since last October.

Tensions escalated further as Lebanese state news reported machine gun fire from Israel towards local journalists shortly after CNN left the area. The possibility of an Iranian retaliatory attack against Israel added to the heightened atmosphere.

Speculations arose regarding Hezbollah’s participation in the anticipated Iranian attack, but a Lebanese insider dismissed the notion, stating that the attack would be solely Iranian-led. US intelligence suggested that Iran was moving military assets, potentially signaling an imminent strike on Israeli targets from within Iran.

As Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, vowed revenge before a crowd while brandishing a rifle, Israel remained on high alert, preparing for the expected response. US officials hoped that the attack would be contained to avoid a wider regional conflict.

The complexity of the conflict in Lebanon intertwined with the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, further complicating the situation. Hezbollah’s recent rocket barrage into the Upper Galilee of Israel and the interception by the Iron Dome anti-missile system hinted at potential strategies to overwhelm Israeli defenses while Iran executes its plan.

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Negotiations over the armistice line between Lebanon and Israel have reignited in the past months, as Western leaders pressured Lebanon to remove Hezbollah from the border region. However, Hezbollah supporters dismissed the idea as unfeasible, raising concerns of prolonged conflict in the area.

Amidst the uncertainty and escalating tensions, soldiers on the ground remain vigilant and adaptable to the changing situation. With the specter of further violence looming, the region remains on edge as the potential for conflict continues to grow.

(CNN’s MJ Lee, Natasha Bertrand, Zeena Saifi, and Oren Liebermann contributed to this report)

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