Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the United States is sending additional troops to the US Central Command region, which covers the Middle East and parts of Africa, Pentagon press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said on Tuesday (local time).
Ryder said that these troops will provide capabilities, explosive ordnance disposal, communications and other support enablers for forces already in the region. He said that additional US troops are not going to Israel.
While addressing a press briefing on Tuesday (local time), he said, “I can announce the decision to deploy an additional 300 troops to the US Central Command region from home stations in the continental United States. These additional troops will provide capabilities, explosive ordnance disposal, communications and other support enablers for forces already in the region.”
The region monitored by the US Central Command encompasses 20 countries, including Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and northern Red Sea, and the five republics of Central Asia.
“Please note that we will not discuss specific deployment locations for these forces, but I can confirm they are not going to Israel and that they are intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster US force protection capabilities,” he added.
Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said that US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, during his remarks at the Senate testimony, said the US will continue to provide critical security assistance to Israel.
He said that Austin said that the focus of the US is on providing air defence capabilities, precision-guided munitions and more interceptors for the Iron Dome system.
According to Ryder, Austin said that the US is coordinating closely with the Israelis to help secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas, including American citizens.
Ryder said that Austin highlighted that the US immediately provided military advisors to offer best practises for integrating hostage recovery into Israel’s operations.
Lloyd Austin said that the US has strengthened its force posture across the region to deter any state or nonstate actors from escalating this crisis beyond Gaza, according to Patrick Ryder.
While addressing the press briefing, Ryder said Austin continues to remain in close contact with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant by phone and received updates regarding Israel’s operations in Gaza.
Ryder said, “The secretary commended the Israel Defense Forces’ commitment to hostage recovery” and re-emphasized the importance of conducting operations in accordance with the law of war. He also stressed the imperative to protect innocent civilians and allow unfettered humanitarian aid into Gaza.
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