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Coordinator for the National Security Council (NSC), John Kirby said on Tuesday that the government has no intentions to intervene militarily in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
The US government will “protect and defend its national security interests wherever they are, including in that part of the world” (Gaza) but has no intention to “put US (military) boots on the ground”, Kirby said in response to a question if the US would intervene militarily if Iran or terror outfit Hezbollah were also to be drawn into the conflict.
Kirby, addressing a media briefing at the White House, said that the movement of the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group into the Eastern Med was a step in that direction, protecting American interests overseas. President Joe Biden will “always make sure that we are protecting and defending our national security interests wherever those interests are, including particularly in that part of the world”.
He further said that the President has spoken with “many of our allies and partners — including the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and the UK — just this afternoon to help coordinate our efforts in the war torn region”.
President Biden has spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice assuring him that the US will stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the current situation.
In response to Hamas’ attacks, President Biden directed his team to “do everything we can to ensure that the government of Israel has what it needs. At his direction, our military began shipping military aid to Israel and the Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has adjusted our force posture in the region to bolster regional deterrence efforts”.
“Our teams at the White House and across the US government have been in close contact with our Israeli partners and are working with our regional partners to warn anyone who might seek to take advantage in this situation against taking hostile action,” Kirby said while answering to questions on Iran and Hezbollah “exploiting the situation”.
“Terrorism is never justified, and what we have seen Hamas do is appalling and horrific. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Israeli people in this moment of crisis for them. And in keeping with that commitment, you will also see that they will light the White House up tonight in blue and white in honour of Israeli colours and the Israeli flag. That will… that will take place right after sundown.
“We will have more assistance to announce over the coming days to ensure that no enemies of Israel believe that they can or should try to seek advantage from the current situation,” he said.
“The US government is doing everything we can to determine the whereabouts of these U.S. citizens. The President has directed his team to work with their Israeli counterparts on every aspect of the hostage crisis, including sharing intelligence and deploying experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts,” Kirby asserted.
The first tranche of additional security assistance is being delivered to Israel.
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