US troops in Iraq ‘on standby’ to support ground involvement in Israel’s Gaza war: US media

US forces in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province near the border with Turkey

Press TV – Jan 31, 2024

US military personnel have been put on standby in Iraq to support a possible ground involvement in the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip, The Intercept found.

According to a January US Air Force personnel memo obtained by The Intercept, American troops have been ordered to be on standby to be forward deployed in case of US military ground involvement in the Gaza war.

The memo did not indicate that such an involvement is forthcoming; however, it is the latest intimation of the Pentagon’s preparations to support Israel’s genocidal war in the wake of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas’s October 7 operation into the occupied territories, the report run on Tuesday said.

The document revealed that around 2,000 US military personnel were deployed to Iraq last year days after Hamas carried out the surprise operation against Israel, adding that since then, they have been put on prepare-to-deploy orders for potential support to Israel.

The latest development comes as US President Joe Biden’s administration has stressed that its support for Israel in the Gaza war would not include boots on the ground.

In October, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said “There are no plans or intentions to put US boots on the ground in combat in Israel.”

“But as we’ve also said, we have significant national security interests in the region,” he added.

However, two days after Kirby’s remarks, the White House inadvertently shared a picture of Biden in Israel posing alongside members of the secretive US special operations units, before quickly deleting it.

The New York Times reported in early October that American special operations personnel were in Israel to help with efforts to free Israeli captives held by Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli regime waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

Since the start of the aggression, Israel has killed more than 26,700 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the latest count by the Gaza Health Ministry.

The US, Israel’s traditional ally, has backed Tel Aviv’s attacks on the Palestinian territory as an instance of “self-defense,” and has provided the regime with thousands of arms consignments since the onset of the war.

Since the war erupted, Washington has used its veto power to block the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.


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