The Pentagon sent UAVs to operate in the Gaza Strip to locate hostages and share intelligence with Israel.
“The United States is organizing unarmed drone (UAV) flights over the Gaza Strip, as well as providing advice and assistance to help Israeli partners in their hostage rescue efforts,” the statement said. Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said on November 3. “These flights began after the Hamas attack on Israel.”
US officials affirmed that intelligence information collected and shared by this country’s UAVs is limited to hostage rescue efforts, not to identify targets for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to carry out raids. Attacks targeting the positions of members and leaders of Hamas.
However, some US officials admitted that information collected by UAVs shared with Israel could be useful in tracking other Hamas activities.
Some former US intelligence officials commented that it is unclear how images collected from UAV flights over the Gaza Strip will help efforts to locate hostages because these people may be detained in the system. Underground tunnel system. Among the more than 240 hostages held in the Gaza Strip, there may be 10 American citizens.
US special operations forces in Israel advise the IDF on hostage rescue efforts. Brigadier General Ryder confirmed on November 3 that this special unit and the US military “do not participate in identifying targets with the IDF” or support this force in implementing the campaign against the Gaza Strip.
UAVs are part of a plan to strengthen US intelligence gathering means in the Middle East after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. A source said two US MQ-9 Reaper UAVs, the country’s most sophisticated reconnaissance drones, flew over the area off the coast of Lebanon over the weekend.
The United States is closely monitoring any signs that Hezbollah in Lebanon or any Iranian-backed armed group seeks to escalate tensions there. On November 3, the leader of Hezbollah announced that the group had entered a battle with Israel and warned that fighting could escalate.