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Pentagon announces 2,000 US soldiers ready deploy to Israel in support role

Israeli soldiers near the northern with Lebanon, Oct. 16, 2023. (Photo: David Cohen/Flash90)

American media outlets reported on Monday afternoon that U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin placed 2,000 U.S. troops on standby to be “ready to deploy” to Israel over the weekend. 

Defense officials say if U.S. troops are called, they will be deployed to Israel within 24 hours in an advisory and medical support role.

The announcement comes after the Pentagon’s earlier decision over the weekend to send a second aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Mediterranean. 

The first U.S. carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, was sent just days following the brutal attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.  Both carriers were sent for deterrent operations against other “foreign aggressors” in the region.

U.S. defense officials report that the troops will not be deployed for combat purposes but will assist Israeli military officials in planning operations to rescue hostages.

The troops are from across the U.S. Armed Forces currently stationed within and outside of the Middle East.

Since the attack on Oc. 7, the U.S. has offered steadfast support for Israel, sending munitions and interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv on Monday. The defense ministry’s director-general, the leader of the IDF Strategic Directorate and senior officials from Israel’s defense establishment also participated in the meeting.

Gallant expressed his appreciation to Blinken and the Biden administration for its “unwavering support and commitment to Israel’s security.”

Gallant told Blinken that Israel “always knew the United States is a great ally, but today, the people of Israel and the world see it with their own eyes. You are here, for the second time this week, senior American officials are here every day, and the American flag waves in the Mediterranean – we know what that means.

“Let me tell you, Mr. Secretary, this will be a long war, the price will be high, but we are going to win: for Israel, for the Jewish people and for the values that both countries believe in.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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