Monday 9 October 2023

U.S. Military To Position Ships And Aircraft Squadrons Closer To Israel Following Hamas Attacks

 The U.S. military on Sunday announced plans to position a number of Navy ships and military aircraft closer to Israel as a sign of support after the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas attacked the nation over the weekend, leaving hundreds dead, including at least four Americans, according to reports.

“My thoughts continue to be with the people of Israel and the many families who have lost loved ones as a result of the abhorrent terrorist attack by Hamas,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a news release. “Today, in response to this Hamas attack on Israel, and following detailed discussions with President Biden, I have directed several steps to strengthen Department of Defense posture in the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts.”

Austin directed the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean, which will include the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80).

Additionally, U.S. officials have taken steps to move the U.S. Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

“The U.S. maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required,” Austin added.

The assault on Israel began Saturday morning with rocket barrages and Hamas fighters crossing the border. Israel’s military said soldiers and civilians were taken captive on Saturday, though the exact number remains unclear.

More than 700 Israelis have been confirmed dead, and at least 2,000 have been injured, according to Israeli authorities. Fighting between the two forces continues to increase, which likely won’t cease for quite some time as Israel is reportedly struggling to retake control of some areas from terrorist invaders in the southern part of the country.

U.S. official told The Associated Press that preliminary numbers show at least four U.S. citizens were killed during the attacks against Israel.

President Joe Biden said he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “reiterated [his] unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”

The Biden administration is “looking at specific additional requests that the Israelis have made,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on CNN, adding, “I think you’re likely to hear more about that later today.”


U.S. officials told NBC News that the movement of military equipment could begin immediately, but the assets, specifically the ships, could take several days before taking position. The outlet reported that U.S. officials have also started planning possible non-combatant evacuations to remove American nationals from Israel.

Blinken said earlier on Sunday that the Biden administration is looking into reports of Americans being killed or taken hostage, adding that Biden aims to “make sure that we’re providing Israel everything it needs in this moment to deal with the attacks from Hamas.”

Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, reportedly said American citizens are among the hostages taken by Hamas but could not provide further details about those who may have been killed.

The Pentagon said the U.S. will also provide the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions.

“Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the material support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people,” Austin said. “My team and I will continue to be in close contact with our Israeli counterparts to ensure they have what they need to protect their citizens and defend themselves against these heinous terrorist attacks.”

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