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US 'Closely' Monitors Regional Situation; In Contact With Israel: Pentagon

11.04.2024 23:12

US commitment to Israel's security against threats from Iran and its proxies is 'ironclad,' says spokesman Ryder.

The US is "closely" following the situation in the Middle East, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran.

"We're certainly monitoring the situation closely. I don't have a crystal ball and I'm not going to get into specific intelligence," Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters when asked about the reports that Iranian attack on Israel is "imminent."

The US is in close contact with the Israelis, Ryder said, adding the US commitment to Israel's security against threats from Iran and its proxies is "ironclad."

Ryder said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant Thursday afternoon to discuss the current situation in the Middle East.

Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened Wednesday that his country's military would strike Iran directly if Tehran launched an attack from its territory against Israel.

His remarks came in the wake of heightened tensions between the rival powers in the aftermath of the killings of Iranian generals in a suspected Israeli strike at the Iranian Consulate in Syria earlier this month.

Since the very beginning of the conflict on Oct. 7, 2023, Ryder said, the US has two key objectives that are to ensure the safety and security of US forces and citizens in the region, as well as supporting Israel's right to self-defense.

"As we monitor potential threats ... we'll continue to take appropriate steps to include any necessary force protection measures if our forces are threatened.

"But when it comes to, you know, speculating on when and if Iran may attack Israel, again, I'm just not going to get into speculating or discuss intelligence," Ryder said.

He also confirmed that US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla is in Israel.

"As I understand it, you know, due to recent developments, he moved up his trip to meet with key IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) leadership, discuss the current security threats in the region," he added.

The escalation comes as Israel continues to wage a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack in early October by Hamas, which killed less than 1,200 people.

More than 33,100 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and over 75,800 injured besides causing mass destruction, displacement and leaving most of the population on the verge of famine. -



 
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