U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put in “be ready to deploy” orders for American troops, “should Israel need them,” according to a report from Fox News.
US officials are claiming that the roughly 2,000 troops are not being deployed for combat, but rather to serve in advising roles or provide medical support, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The U.S. military has selected roughly 2,000 troops to prepare for a potential deployment to support Israel, U.S. defense officials said. The troops are tasked with missions like advising and medical support, the officials said, and they are from across the U.S. armed services. They aren’t intended to serve in a combat role, the officials said. No infantry have been put on prepare-to-deploy order.
The report added, “The troops are currently stationed both inside the Middle East and outside, including Europe, the officials said. It isn’t clear under what circumstances the U.S. could deploy the troops or to where, but the Pentagon decision signaled it is preparing to support Israeli troops should Israel launch a ground incursion into Gaza.”
Two strike groups have already been deployed to the eastern Mediterranean, which the US says are intended to serve as a warning against other nations getting involved.
BREAKING: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put in “be ready to deploy” orders for a select number of American troops should Israel need them, an official told Fox News. pic.twitter.com/hTBrfJYeFW
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 16, 2023
Biden has pledged allegiance to Israel in the fight, saying that the US willl “make sure Israel has what it needs.”
“We must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel,” Biden said during a speech last week. “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.”
On Saturday, Iran told Israel, through the United Nations, that it will get involved if the bombing of civilians in Gaza continues.
At least 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 more injured in the retaliatory strikes on Gaza from Israel as of October 16.
At least 1,400 people have died and 3,400 injured in Israel since the war began on Saturday.