*** ----> UN chief warns Middle East on brink of ‘full-scale regional conflict’ | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

UN chief warns Middle East on brink of ‘full-scale regional conflict’

AFP | United Nations                                                       

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres yesterday painted a dark picture of the situation in the Middle East, warning that spiraling tensions over the war in Gaza and Iran’s attack on Israel could devolve into a “full-scale regional conflict.” Guterres also said Israel’s military offensive on Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip, in retaliation for their unprecedented October 7 attack, had created a “humanitarian hellscape” for civilians trapped in the besieged Palestinian territory.

His speech came hours before a vote in the Security Council on a Palestinian bid for full UN membership - an initiative likely to fail, as the veto-wielding United States, Israel’s main ally, has voiced its opposition. “The Middle East is on a precipice. Recent days have seen a perilous escalation - in words and deeds,” Guterres told a high-level Council meeting with several foreign ministers present, including from Jordan and Iran. “One miscalculation, one miscommunication, one mistake could lead to the unthinkable - a full-scale regional conflict that would be devastating for all involved,” he said, calling on all parties to exercise “maximum restraint.” “Let me be clear: the risks are spiraling on many fronts.

We have a shared responsibility to address those risks and pull the region back from the precipice.”


Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles and drones on Israel over the weekend, after an attack on its consulate in Damascus widely blamed on Israel.

Israeli officials have not said when or where they would retaliate, but the country’s military chief has vowed a response. “It is high time to end the bloody cycle of retaliation,” Guterres said. “It is high time to stop.” Guterres again called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, where at least 33,970 people have been killed, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.


Hamas’ October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people in southern Israel, mostly civilians, according to official Israeli figures.

Hamas also took about 250 hostages. Israel estimates 129 of them remain in Gaza, including 34 who are presumed dead. “In Gaza, six and a half months of Israeli military operations have created a humanitarian hellscape,” Guterres lamented, calling on Israel to do more to allow aid to flow into the territory