U.S. Deploys 2,000 Troops Amid Escalating Israel-Hamas Conflict

Go Back to News and Updates
  • U.S. Deploys 2,000 Troops Amid Escalating Israel-Hamas Conflict

    According to a statement released by the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed some 2,000 U.S. forces on high alert for future deployment in response to the current fighting between Israel and Hamas. This is the latest in a string of deployments and stance changes meant to increase support for Israel's fight against Hamas, the Palestinian organization in charge of the Gaza Strip.

    The Pentagon's Sabrina Singh said that Austin "placed approximately 2,000 personnel and a range of units in a heightened state of readiness through a prepare-to-deploy order." The order's recipients were not identified.

    Before this new deployment, two carrier strike groups and a Marine expeditionary battalion had already been sent to the area. These steps have been taken to bolster Israeli support and discourage other regional players, including Hezbollah and Iran, from becoming involved.

    The statement included an extension of the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford and its accompanying strike group, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. Two Navy ships and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are also headed toward the seas around Israel. Off the coast of Israel, the Ford will be joined by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, a cruiser, and two destroyers.

    The Middle East has also deployed more F-15E Strike Eagle and A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. U.S. officials, however, have stressed that no offensive activities are being carried out by military assets in the area against Hamas or the Gaza Strip.

    A tiny group of special operations personnel stationed at the American embassy in Israel is the sole military element from the United States active in the fight. These soldiers are advising and assisting with hostage rescue operations.

    Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh deferred to President Joe Biden when asked about the legal authorization to interact with Hamas, saying instead that the military's mission is "to strictly be in a position to deter." The names of Hezbollah and Iran have been mentioned as potential threats.

    Hamas's October 7 coordinated strike inside of Israel resulted in dead and captives, including American citizens, and marked a dangerous war escalation. Israel launched retaliatory attacks the next day, suggesting a possible ground invasion in Gaza, and officially declared war on Hamas.

    This past week, several high-ranking American military officials, including Defense Secretary Austin, travelled to Israel. General Erik Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, has arrived in Tel Aviv for high-level discussions to discuss the military needs of Israel, explain U.S. assistance activities, and reiterate the U.S. military's unshakable commitment to Israel. Kurilla underlined the need to keep the dispute from spreading.

    On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden stated that he would be traveling to the nation to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and the U.S. commitment to regional stability in the wake of the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

    Reference Link: