U.S. special operations soldiers stationed in Europe are on high alert in case the Pentagon requests their assistance in rescuing American hostages in Gaza, according to a new report in The Messenger.
“For the moment, there is no indication that U.S. forces will aid in any operations on the ground in Israel,” the report said.
“But, the Americans are only a few hours away by plane if they need to intervene,” the report added.
“The U.S. sent both members of the intelligence community and special operation forces from U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command to Israel to help advise and aid in intelligence operations,” the sources told The Messenger.
The troops on alert include “door-kickers” capable of conducting a hostage recovery mission on their own, which could include the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s SEAL Team Six, according to The Messenger, citing two U.S. military officials who spoke anonymously to discuss national security matters.
During their bloody assault on Israeli neighborhoods, Hamas terrorists murdered 14 Americans and abducted an undetermined number, President Joe Biden confirmed in a briefing on Tuesday.
There is currently no indication that special operations forces will be ordered to infiltrate Hamas-controlled territory to exfiltrate the hostages.
Biden also dispatched hostage rescue experts to advise the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on hostage recovery efforts. U.S. intelligence community members, as well as elements of U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command, will assist Israeli intelligence operations.
Israel estimates that between 100 and 150 individuals, including dual citizens, are held captive by Hamas. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated on Tuesday that at least 20 Americans are missing, although the precise number is unknown.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has “people on the ground” to assist Israel “with intelligence and planning” related to hostage rescue operations, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Tuesday while in Brussels for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, according to The Messenger.
The United States is able to “rapidly deploy other resources into the region,” according to Austin’s comments to the news source.
Officials have not verified that there are Americans among the hostages, but on Tuesday, family members of four Americans stated they believed their loved ones were abducted to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Hamas on Monday threatened to begin executing detainees in retaliation for Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes on the Gaza Strip
In the aftermath of a weekend attack by Hamas fighters that resulted in the deaths of more than one thousand Israelis, the U.S. has increased its assistance to Israel.