The United States military is readying elite special forces to locate American citizens who were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists in Israel.
Two senior U.S. military officials reportedly told The Messenger that Joint Special Operations Command “door kickers” have been placed on standby in a nearby European country.
The military officials would not state which units were being readied but confirmed they were elite special forces that fell under the Joint Special Operations Command.
The two main counterterrorism units under the Joint Special Operations Command are the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s SEAL Team Six.
The United States Navy SEALs of SEAL Team Six (also known as DEVGRU) were the same elite soldiers that hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden.
The U.S. special forces are also being readied to assist Israel if necessary in their battle against Hamas.
On Tuesday, the Israeli death toll rose to 1,200.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Tuesday that America had also sent hostage negotiators to help the Israeli specialists.
Twenty Americans remain missing in Israel following the weekend’s Hamas attack.
Among those missing are some whose relatives say they have been taken hostage.
Austin said the U.S. has “people on the ground” who will assist Israeli authorities “with intelligence and planning” for potential operations involving hostage rescue efforts.
The Messenger reported that the U.S. hostage negotiators will work alongside a team already in place, working out of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv.
The Pentagon has a “liaison cell” in Israel working with Israeli special operations forces, Austin said.
Austin also said the U.S. has the ability to “rapidly deploy other resources into the region.”
Meanwhile, Democrat President Joe Biden has dispatched the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford and five guided-missile cruisers and destroyers to the scene.
The warships arrived in the region on Tuesday.
“The arrival of these highly capable forces to the region is a strong signal of deterrence should any actor hostile to Israel consider trying to take advantage of this situation,” said Gen. Michael ‘Erik’ Kurilla, who oversees U.S. Central Command.
On Sunday, Austin said that the warships would carry U.S. Air Force warplanes “to bolster regional deterrence efforts.”
The effort seeks to dissuade Iran or Hezbollah from taking advantage of the conflict and joining in.
On Monday, a senior defense official said the strike group can conduct “a full spectrum of missions, from intelligence collection, maritime dominance, to long-range strike, will ensure the United States is postured to respond to any contingencies and minimize the risk of a wider spread conflict that would threaten stability.”
The Pentagon is also looking at supplying Israel with more arms and liaising with defense contractors to ramp up their production.
“These posture increases were intended to serve as an unequivocal demonstration in deed and not only in words of U.S. support for Israel’s defense and serve as a deterrent signal to Iran, Lebanese Hezbollah, and any other proxy across the region who might be considering exploiting the current situation to escalate conflict,” the official said.
“Those adversaries should think twice.”