Blinken arrives in Turkey ahead of fourth high-stakes Middle East tour


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his fourth tour to the Middle East in just three months in a bid to ease fears that the Israel-Hamas war could erupt into a wider regional conflict, Euronews reports. 
 
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in Turkey for the start of his fourth tour of the Middle East in just three months as Washington seeks a firmer grip on the increasingly tense and unstable situation in the region, Euronews reports. 
 
The visit is expected to focus primarily on easing fears that the Israel-Hamas war could spill over into a wider regional conflict.
 
But Blinken is faced with an increasingly difficult task. International criticism is mounting over Israel’s military operations in Gaza and recent attacks in the Red Sea, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq will only add to US concerns over the possible end game.
 
Earlier this week, a suspected Israeli attack killed senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut, prompting Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to warn that the Lebanon-based group does not fear war with Israel.
 
During a press briefing in Washington on Tuesday, White House spokesman and Coordinator for Strategic Communications Admiral John Kirby told reporters that “nobody should be shedding a tear” over al-Arouri’s death.
 
Blinken touched down in Istanbul late on Friday. He will also visit Greece, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the West Bank and Egypt.
 
Apart from Gaza-specific priorities that he will bring to Israel, Blinken will be seeking regional assistance in calming the situation.