In response to the brutal Hamas attacks against Israel last weekend, Lloyd Austin, the U.S. secretary of defense, has issued a notice to U.S. troops that they need to be on stand-by to “be ready to deploy” to the region.
Biden administration officials, though, were quick to add that the U.S. troops wouldn’t be used for combat in any way. One high-ranking official sent confirmation to Fox News that the orders Austin issued orders the troops in question to be ready for deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean region within 24 hours of them receiving such an order.
The officials told Fox News that any U.S. troops that were ultimately sent to the region would be there to provide medical support and advisement to Israeli military forces in their fight against Hamas.
To this point, the U.S. military has served in just a deterrence role in the situation between Israel and Hamas. They’ve sent the USS Eisenhower and USS Ford strike groups to the Mediterranean Sea to try to deter further attacks in the region.
However, this move by the Department of Defense can be seen as much more direct support for Israel in their defense.
On Monday, 2,000 U.S. military troops received notice that they needed to be ready for deployment within 24 hours if they were needed to do so. The order comes just a few days after a Marine Corps special operations unit that was set to participate in some exercises on October 22 ended up departing early “as a result of emerging events.”
Those troops were designated to serve in an advisory role and to provide medical support as well. They were not being designated for roles in combat.
The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group first arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea last week to “deter any actor seeking to escalate the situation or widen this war.” That was according to a press release that was sent by the U.S. Command Central.
Then, on Friday, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower left from Norfolk, Virginia, and headed to the Mediterranean for a “scheduled deployment” as well.
On Sunday, John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said that the Eisenhower strike group as well as the ships escorting it were going to the region to be available for deterrent operations there.
From the very beginning of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, President Joe Biden has expressed his unwavering support for Israel.
Hamas, an extremist group that the U.S. officially recognizes as a terrorist group, invaded and attacked Israel by surprise on October 7, killing more than 1,200 people. In the response attacks, Israel has reportedly killed more than 2,500 Palestinians.
At a speech he gave last week, Biden reiterated:
“We must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack.”