israel lebanon
© AFPA thick column of smoke rises into the sky over Alma al-Shaab after Israeli bombardments on April 25, 2024.
Kuwait on Friday urged its citizens to leave Lebanon "as soon as possible," while Canada said it is preparing for the potential evacuation of 45,000 of its citizens from the country amid growing fears of a wider conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

On Friday, Kuwait's Foreign Ministry asked its nationals in Lebanon to depart "as soon as possible." The ministry also advised Kuwaitis not to travel to Lebanon "at the present time in view of the security situation taking place in the region."

Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly informed her Israeli counterpart, Yisrael Katz, that Canada is preparing for the potential evacuation of 45,000 of its citizens from Lebanon. Joly stated that Canada has already deployed military forces to the region to facilitate the evacuation process if a wider conflict were to erupt between Israel and Hezbollah. On June 17, Canada updated its Lebanon's travel advisory risk level to "avoid all travel."

The latest advisories comes after reports by Israeli media outlets, including the news portal Walla, that Hezbollah may be planning a "pre-emptive surprise attack" against Israel.

Comment: It would be pre-emptive if they knew an attack by Israel was imminent. And Israeli officials have been threatening a serious escalation for weeks now amidst Hezbollah's successful retaliations to the IDF's relentless criminality in the region.

For his part, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a speech on Wednesday threatened that, in the event of open conflict, the Israelis would have to "wait for us by land, sea and air." He also, for the first time, cautioned Cyprus, claiming his group has information that Israeli soldiers are conducting maneuvers in mountainous areas of the island similar to those of south Lebanon, and saying, "We warn Nicosia: Opening Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is part of the war."

In response, Israel's foreign minister, Katz, said on Friday that Israel will soon make "necessary decisions" to halt attacks by the Iran-backed group.

The heightened tensions follow the Israeli military's approval of operational plans earlier this week for a wide-scale attack on Lebanon.

Hezbollah, for its part, has linked the end of its attacks on Israel to the end of Israel's ongoing war in Gaza.