Austin issues warning to any who’d take advantage of Israeli conflict

October 11, 2023

During a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a stern warning to those who’d take advantage of the conflict in Israel. 

“The Department of Defense stands fully ready to deploy additional assets if necessary,” said Austin. “As President Biden has said, for any country, for any organization, for anyone thinking about trying to take advantage of the agony in Israel to try to widen this conflict, were to try to spill more blood, we have just one word: Don’t.”

Austin touched upon U.S. military support being deployed to Israel in the wake of Hamas’ surprise attack Saturday, noting that additional fighter squadrons were on their way to the region. 

He added that the first round of “key munitions” and other military aid began flowing into Israel yesterday, and that the U.S. would be “providing more Iron Dome interceptors so that Israel can protected citizens and cities.”

The Iron Dome is the name of Israel’s missile defense system.

Israel officially declared war on Hamas on Sunday following the terrorist organization’s massive surprise attack on Israel the day before.

On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that it had called up some 300,000 reservists to serve the war effort.

Israeli authorities said Wednesday that since Saturday’s strike, more than 1,200 people have died and 2,900 others have been injured in Israel, while Palestinian officials said at least 1,055 people have died and another 5,184 were wounded in Gaza.

On Tuesday night, President Biden said that at least 14 Americans were among those killed.

During his remarks Wednesday, Sec. Austin echoed Biden in stating that like any other country, Israel has not only the right to defend itself, it has “a duty to defend itself.”

The Defense Secretary further cautioned that even as U.S. officials “continue to ensure that Israel has what it needs to keep itself and its citizens safe,” potential bad actors should “make no mistake, the United States will remain able to project power, and to direct resources to tackle crises in multiple theaters. So we will stand firmly with Israel as we continue to support Ukraine” in its 20-month-long war against Russian aggression. 

PHOTO: Lloyd Austin, NATO press conference Wednesday

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