June 18, 2024

In the aftermath of Saturday’s brutal surprise attack launched by the terrorist group Hamas against Israel, nations are scrambling to mitigate the unfolding crisis. The attacks killed 700 Israelis and now, it has been confirmed that nine American citizens perished in the assault. Others are still missing.

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State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller announced the U.S. casualties on Monday.

Nine US citizens have died in the conflict in Israel, a US National Security Council spokesperson said Monday.

“At this time, we can confirm the death of nine U.S. citizens. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected, and wish those injured a speedy recovery. We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners, particularly the local authorities,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

The spokesperson added, “We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners, particularly the local authorities.”

Hamas’ incursion into Israeli territory has been recognized as the deadliest since the Yom Kippur War, which occurred five decades ago. The murders of American citizens, among others, exacerbate the severity and urgency of the crisis. Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated on Sunday that the government is “working overtime” to verify reports of missing and dead Americans in the region.

Shortly after the fighting broke out, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent the U.S. Navy’s Gerald Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean as a means of deterrence and possibly to aid in the evacuation of non-combatants from the area.

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The U.S. military is moving an aircraft carrier strike group and military aircraft closer to Israel as a show of support, and will also begin supplying Israel with munitions and other military supplies immediately, said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Austin said Sunday afternoon that he had directed the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to go to the Eastern Mediterranean. The group includes the carrier, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, and four Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers. “We have also taken steps to augment U.S Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region,” he said. “In addition, the United States government will be rapidly providing the Israel Defense Forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days.”

“Strengthening our joint force posture, in addition to the materiel support that we will rapidly provide to Israel, underscores the United States’ ironclad support for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israeli people,” said Austin. “My team and I will continue to be in close contact with our Israeli counterparts to ensure they have what they need to protect their citizens and defend themselves against these heinous terrorist attacks.”

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Iran, despite initially denying involvement in the attack, has been implicated in the planning and execution of the assault. Tehran’s Supreme Leader issued public praise for the attack. The Iranian regime has been a significant backer of Hamas in its efforts against Israel.

The deaths of American citizens, along with the massive loss of Israeli lives and Palestinians caught in the crossfire have transformed a regional conflict into an international crisis. The response of Israel and other nations will exert a tremendous impact on the future of Middle Eastern and global politics.

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