Pentagon Sends Urban Combat Veteran to Israel

Air defense systems also are on their way to Middle East
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2023 5:13 PM CDT
Pentagon Sends Urban Combat Veteran to Israel
Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Monday.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The Pentagon has sent military advisers, including a Marine Corps general versed in urban warfare, to Israel to aid in its war planning and is speeding multiple sophisticated air defense systems to the Middle East days ahead of an anticipated ground assault into Gaza. One of the officers leading the assistance, the AP reports, is Marine Lt. Gen. James Glynn, who previously helped lead special operations forces against the Islamic State and served in Fallujah, Iraq, during some of the most heated urban combat there, said a US official. Glynn will also be advising on how to mitigate civilian casualties in urban warfare, the official said.

Israel is preparing a large-scale ground operation in an environment in which Hamas militants have had years to prepare tunnel networks and set traps throughout northern Gaza's dense urban blocks. Glynn and the other officers who are advising Israel "have experience that is appropriate to the sorts of operations that Israel is conducting," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday. The advisers will not be engaged in the fighting, an official said. The military team is one of many pieces the Pentagon is putting in place to try to prevent the war between Israel and Hamas from becoming wider. It also is trying to protect US personnel, who in the past few days have come under repeated attacks that the Pentagon has said were likely endorsed by Iran.

On Monday, the US military garrison at an-Tanf, Syria, came under attack again, this time by two drones. The drones were shot down, and no injuries were reported, per the AP. It was the latest of more than a half-dozen instances in the past week that the US has reported its military locations in the Middle East had come under rocket or drone attack since a deadly blast at a Gaza hospital. Last Thursday, the destroyer USS Carney shot down four land-attack cruise missiles launched from Yemen that the Pentagon has said were potentially headed toward Israel. In response, the Pentagon has announced it's sending multiple Patriot missile defense system battalions and a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system to the Middle East.

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(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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