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US has no plans to join Israel conflict, say senior officials

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USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier battle group
The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) steams in the Atlantic Ocean in formation with the German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221), the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), the Danish frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (FFH 362), the Canadian frigate HMCS Montreal (FFH 336), the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), the Spanish Armada frigate Álvaro de Bazán (F 101), the Dutch frigate HNLMS De Zeven Povincien (F 802), the French frigate FS Chevalier Paul (D 621), the Dutch frigate HNLMS Van Amstel (F 831) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul (DDG 74), Nov. 7, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jackson Adkins)

Although American special operators may play a role in recovering hostages taken by Hamas militants, the United States currently has no plans to put conventional “boots on the ground” to support Israeli combat operations, a State Department official explained during a press conference on Tuesday.

The presence of an American aircraft carrier strike group led by the world’s largest warship, the USS Gerald R. Ford, is meant to send a strong message of deterrence, but does not signal America’s intent to join the fray, President Joe Biden said on Tuesday.

“The United States has also enhanced our military force posture in the region to strengthen our deterrence,” Biden said. “Let me say again to any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation. I have one word: Don’t.”

This announcement came after Hamas launched a surprise offensive against Israel on Saturday, with militant extremists targeting Israeli civilians with a brutality American Defense officials described as “unprecedented.” These attacks include the killing of hundreds at a music festival and the systemic murder of children as Hamas militants poured over the border into Israel.

“I saw hundreds of terrorists in full armor, full gear, with all the equipment and all the ability to make a massacre, go from apartment to apartment, from room to room, and kill babies, mothers, fathers in their bedrooms,” Israeli Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv told CNN. CNN was not able to confirm the general’s claims, but stories about these deaths have permeated both social and news media since the fighting began.

The United States has already begun providing military assistance to Israel, with interceptors for the nation’s various air defense systems – including the widely touted Iron Dome – chief among the list of munitions.

“My team has been in near constant communication with our Israeli partners and partners all across the region and the world from the moment this crisis began,” President Biden said. “We’re surging additional military assistance, including ammunition, and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome. We are going to make sure that Israel does not run out of these critical assets to defend its cities and its citizens.”

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Alex Hollings

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran.