US Vice President Kamala Harris says the US will not be putting boots on the ground in Israel or Gaza. Harris’s statement clearing the air on US intervention in the region comes amid warnings that there was an “elevated risk” of a spillover conflict in the Middle East.
“We have absolutely no intention nor do we have any plans to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period,” she told CBS News. Her statement has also reiterated White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby’s earlier comment that the US would not send troops to the region. However, the Israeli troops have been stationed in the Mediterranean, including warships and military advisers. It has also put a 2,000-troop quick-response force on standby.
Harris added that the U.S. is not telling Israel what to do but is providing advice, equipment and diplomatic support. The U.S. wants to keep the conflict from escalating but that’s proving difficult, she said, adding that the US had just one message for Iran: “Don’t”.
President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu in a call that Israel has a right to defend itself and should do so in a way that is consistent with international law on protecting civilians, the White House said.
The duo also discussed efforts to protect the over 200 hostages in Palestinian custody.
Biden’s insistence comes as the White House comes under scrutiny from within the Democrats over Israel’s action and US support for it. “As Israel’s largest military backer, the United States bears some responsibility for its actions in Gaza, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Source: The Week