US Defense Secretary: The US will remain Israel’s closest friend in the world

By Arutz-7
Posted on 12/02/23 | News Source: Arutz-7

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday that the US would “remain Israel’s closest friend in the world”.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California, Austin said that six days after the Hamas attack on October 7, “I flew to Israel to underscore our solidarity and our resolve—and to make it crystal-clear that America’s commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad.”

“And so we have rushed US security assistance to Israel to help it defend its people and its territory—and to help ensure that Hamas can never again commit the atrocities that we saw on October 7th,” he added.

“US leadership has helped in the release of dozens of hostages. And we will continue to do everything that we can to help secure the release of every man, every woman, and every child seized by Hamas—including American citizens.”

Austin noted that the US has reinforced its military presence in the Middle East, including two Carrier Strike Groups, an Amphibious Ready Group, a Marine Expeditionary Unit, a guided-missile submarine, integrated air-defense and missile-defense forces, and more fighter aircraft and bombers.

He warned Iran in the wake of the repeated attacks against US personnel in Iraq and Syria, which the US has responded to by striking facilities in Iraq and eastern Syria used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and by Iran-affiliated militias.

“We will not tolerate attacks on American personnel. And so these attacks must stop. And until they do, we will do what we need to do to protect our troops—and to impose costs on those who attack them,” stressed the Secretary of Defense.