US to deploy additional air defense systems in Middle East — US Secretary of Defense Austin
Amid the war in Israel, the US is deploying additional air defense in the Middle East and preparing troops for emergencies
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made the statement.
"Following detailed discussions with President Biden on recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces across the Middle East Region, today I directed a series of additional steps to further strengthen the Department of Defense posture in the region," he said.
According to the head of the US Defense Ministry, the Pentagon has activated the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, as well as additional Patriot battalions in locations across the Middle East.
In addition, Austin has prepared additional forces for deployment orders as part of "prudent contingency planning, to increase their readiness and ability to quickly respond as required."
The US Secretary of Defense emphasized that these steps will strengthen regional deterrence efforts, protect US forces in the region, and help protect Israel.
Events in Israel: latest updates
On the morning of Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Palestinian armed groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a massive air and land attack on the state of Israel in several places. The head of the Hamas military wing, Mohammed Deif, said that his militants had launched the Al-Aqsa Flood operation. According to him, these actions are intended to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians launched 2,000 to 3,000 missiles at Israel and simultaneously seized 7 communities in the south.
In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced the mobilization of reservists and the launch of the Iron Swords counterterrorism operation. For the first time in 50 years, the government introduced martial law in the country.
The IDF actively used aviation to strike Palestinian command posts. It has also begun clearing Hamas-occupied communities.
In addition, there is a great threat that the Shiite Hezbollah could attack Israel from the north, as its main partner and supplier, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), has called on jihadists to "liberate Jerusalem."
On the morning of October 8, the Saudi television channel Al Arabiya published the losses of both Palestinians and Israelis during the first day of the renewed military conflict. According to the channel, Israel lost 300 people killed and at least 1,600 wounded. The number of casualties from the Palestinian-populated Gaza Strip is 232 killed and 1,627 wounded.
On October 8, Israeli troops claimed that Lebanon had attacked their territory, so the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacked in response. In particular, Israeli aviation struck a complex belonging to the head of Hamas' intelligence.
Militants of the Lebanese military-political organization Hezbollah fired at Israeli positions on the border with the disputed Golan Heights and supported Hamas in its operation against Israel.
Due to the situation in the Middle East, the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting. However, no action or decisions were taken after it. At the same time, the UK government stated that it would support Israel in its fight against terrorists and was ready to provide it with all necessary assistance.
On the afternoon of October 9, the Israeli army regained control of all areas on the border with the Gaza Strip. At this, it is possible that there are still Hamas militants on Israeli territory.
At night and during the day on the same day, the Israeli armed forces attacked the Gaza Strip. The main targets were command posts, homes of commanders, militants and ordinary soldiers of the Hamas terrorist organization. The Israeli Ministry of Defense ordered the military to put the Gaza Strip under blockade.
A number of countries have condemned the terrorist attack by Hamas militants and expressed support for Israel in its defense against aggression. Among them are the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, Cyprus, India, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina, Australia, and the European Union.