‘US will make sure Israel has what it needs for defense,’ Austin says

Amy Spiro is a reporter and writer with The Times of Israel

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says that the US will continue to support and supply Israeli forces in its battles, not ruling either out the possibility of sending US troops.

Responding to a question about the potential of US forces joining a fight against Hezbollah in the north, Austin says: “I won’t speculate on anything that could happen in the future,” adding that “make no mistake, the United States will make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself.”

Austin says that the Pentagon is already sending “munitions, air defense capabilities and other equipment resources” as well as additional “interceptors for Iron Dome, to save Israeli lives.”

The defense secretary also says that US officials “will continue to coordinate closely with Israel to help secure the release of the innocent men, women and children in the clutches of Hamas, including American citizens.”

Asked about concerns over civilian casualties in Gaza from Israeli airstrikes, Austin says that “Israel has a right to defend itself… I’ve worked with Israeli forces for many years, my experience is that they’re professional, they’re disciplined and they’re focused on the right things.”

“This is a time for resolve and not revenge, for purpose and not panic, and for security and not surrender,” he says.

Gallant says that “Israel never ever will shoot civilians on purpose,” hence the IDF request for Gazans to evacuate from Gaza City and head south, “and the reason is that we don’t want to harm them.”

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