The US Department of Defense is preparing approximately 2,000 troops to support Israel’s defense against Hamas militants.
The step is a response to the “surprise attack” of air strikes, killings, and abductions conducted by the Palestinian group earlier this month.
No destination or specific deployments have yet been announced for US soldiers.
If a deployment takes place, US soldiers will assemble in a neighboring country to Israel.
Troops are currently in a 24-hour prepare-to-deploy status from their original 96-hour order.
The soldiers will include several units with varying expertise, such as explosives handling and medical support. Each will be assembled from in and out of the Middle East, while some will come from Europe.
For Hostage Recovery
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh stated that troops will not be deployed for combat.
“I won’t get into the specifics of our intelligence sharing, but one of the things that I think we’ve said early on that you’re – that you probably know is part of what the intelligence that we are sharing is for hostage recovery,” Singh said.
“So whether that’s an incursion, if Israel were to launch a ground incursion in, and part of that would be, you know, of course, if they were be – engaging in hostage recovery, of course we’re going to be providing intelligence for them to do so and – and to help with that.”
“But again, our role is just advise and assist in this right now.”
She added that the US is working to address Israel’s requirements for munitions and medical supplies.
“They are there to help support and provide intelligence to the Israeli Defense Force, when it comes to hostage recovery,” she stated.
Two US Carrier Strike Groups
The announcement follows the deployment of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean to “deter hostile actions” against Israel and related activity that may escalate tensions following the October 7 attack.
The USS Eisenhower and its fleet will combine forces with the USS Ford strike group sent to the region two days after the attack.