US comments on transfer of 155-mm shells promised to Ukraine to Israel
The 155-millimeter artillery shells that the United States is providing to the IDF are taken from Israel's military reserve stockpile. Earlier, the press reported that this ammunition was promised to Ukraine
RBC-Ukraine reports this, citing statements by Pentagon spokesman General Patrick Ryder and State Department spokesman Matthew Miller at briefings.
The US Department of Defense clarified in a conversation with journalists what was provided to Israel under direct commercial sale contracts.
"This includes small-diameter bombs, ammunition, and JDAM tail kits," the Pentagon spokesman said.
He also commented on recent publications that the United States could have redirected the transfer of 155mm shells to Israel instead of Ukraine.
"With regard to 155mm ammunition, what happened before the October 7th Hamas terrorist attack is that 155mm ammunition was withdrawn from the military reserve stockpile in Israel to replenish the US stockpile in Europe. Most of it was diverted and made available for use by the Israeli Defense Forces," General Ryder said.
The State Department also responded to rumors that some of the weapons originally planned to be sent to Ukraine may now be transferred to Israel.
The American official noted that he could not speak about individual weapons systems until the United States announces an aid package to Israel as a result of the request "and of course with specific packages that we will provide to Ukraine in the future."
"I will say that as a general principle, there is very little coincidence between what Israel has asked for and what it needs and what Ukraine has asked for and what it needs," Miller said.
He added that to the extent that there is "some overlap," the U.S. side "will work as hard as we can to make sure we can provide both countries with what they need to protect themselves."
"But as the president (US President Joe Biden - Ed.) made clear last week, this also means that we need Congress to take action to approve the additional request that we have been making," the State Department spokesman said.
On October 22, The New York Times wrote about the Pentagon's statement that tens of thousands of 155-millimeter artillery shells promised to Ukraine would be sent to Israel.