The Pentagon has selected approximately 2,000 troops to prepare for potential deployment to the Middle East in support of Israel. This was reported by newspaper The Wall Street Journal with reference to sources in the American defense department.
According to the publication, it is planned to involve American military personnel from various units of the US Armed Forces. Their main tasks will be “advice and medical support,” the Pentagon said.
Currently, selected US military personnel are in the Middle East and Europe. At the moment, it is unknown what could become the basis for their transfer and where they could be sent, the newspaper reports.
It is emphasized that in any case, such a Pentagon decision indicates that Washington is preparing to support Israeli forces if they decide to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.
On October 7, a massive missile strike was launched against Israel. The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas announced its Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. In response, Jerusalem launched the counter-terrorism Operation Iron Swords.
Within a week, the Israeli army was put on alert. The IDF began retaliating with large-scale missile strikes that continued for a week. On October 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the next stage of the operation in the Gaza Strip. The IDF said that “Israeli Army battalions are deployed throughout the country and are increasing combat readiness for the next phases of the war, with an emphasis on significant ground operations.”
However, the start of the offensive was delayed. On the morning of October 15, Israel opened a humanitarian corridor in the Gaza Strip for three hours to allow civilians to move to the south of the enclave. Near the border of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army has assembled a huge strike force.
Preparations for the operation in the Gaza Strip took place against the background of reports of the movement of US Navy ships to the Middle East. Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin earlier said that the US military had also strengthened its fighter squadrons in the region. The American aircraft carrier Gerald Ford, as part of a strike group, arrived in the eastern Mediterranean on October 11. The second American aircraft carrier Dwight Eisenhower set sail for the Mediterranean on Saturday, October 14.
Shelling of Israeli cities continues from the Gaza Strip. Thus, strikes were carried out on Tel Aviv and its suburbs, and on October 15, Sderot came under fire again. One person was killed when the town of Shtula was shelled from the Lebanese side. The Hezbollah group, which began attacking Israeli territory, claimed responsibility for the attack on the settlement. In response, the IDF attacks Hezbollah military targets in Lebanon. In addition, a four-kilometer area south of the northern border with Lebanon was isolated. Last night, the Israeli Air Force also damaged the airport in Syrian Aleppo.
On October 13, the Israel Defense Forces gave residents of the northern Gaza Strip a day to evacuate to the south of the country. The UN emphasized that the migration of 1.1 million people would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. On October 15, Israel announced the opening of a corridor for civilians, but for three hours.
On the night of October 16, Israel launched a series of targeted strikes on positions on Lebanese territory. They were a response to the actions of Hezbollah, which claims to have destroyed (including heavy) Israeli armored vehicles.
On October 16, a ceasefire lasting five hours was introduced in the southern Gaza Strip at 9:00 Moscow time. IDF Lieutenant Colonel Avichai Adrai announced that the IDF will not shell the northern Gaza Strip from 8 a.m. to noon so that residents can evacuate to the south in accordance with Israeli recommendations.
Source: Ren TV