Montana GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke on Potential Rescue Mission for Hostages Taken by Hamas
Montana GOP Representative Ryan Zinke stated on Wednesday that any potential rescue mission involving U.S. special operations forces for hostages taken by Hamas would be a significant and challenging effort. He reaffirmed his commitment to supporting Israel.
Supporting Israel with Physical Assistance
Zinke emphasized that if U.S. special operations forces step in to physically assist Israel, it would require a decision from the national command authority. He highlighted the longstanding relationship between SEAL Team Six and select Israel Defense Forces, where they have shared tactics, techniques, procedures, and integrated units to meet operational requirements.
Concerns and Commitment
Zinke also outlined concerns that those involved in rescuing hostages should consider, such as the risk of an attack on one Hamas militant resulting in the deaths of multiple hostages. Despite these challenges, Zinke expressed his unwavering support for Israel, stating that the country needs to be backed 100% in its defense against Hamas attacks.
Regional Conflict and International Cooperation
Zinke called attention to the coordinated conflict involving Hamas, Iran, China, and Hezbollah, emphasizing the need to recognize the regional scale of the conflict. He pointed out recent maritime operations involving Russia, China, and Iran in the Persian Gulf, which highlight the coordination of assets and tactics among these nations. This regional conflict poses significant challenges that should not be underestimated.
U.S. Assistance and Expertise
Following Zinke’s comments, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced that the U.S. is offering Israel additional advice and counsel. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also confirmed that the U.S. has people on the ground to assist Israel with intelligence, planning, and coordination for hostage rescues. The U.S. always maintains special operations forces on standby for hostage operations, with teams based out of Fort Liberty, North Carolina.
President Biden’s Commitment
President Biden assured a group of Jewish leaders that his administration is actively working to free the hostages held by Hamas. He mentioned deploying experts to advise and assist with recovery efforts, emphasizing that much is being done behind the scenes. While he did not provide specific details, he expressed hope and determination to bring the hostages home.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s Solidarity
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed strong American solidarity with Israel. He revealed that the number of Americans who have died since Hamas’ attack has risen to at least 25 U.S. citizens.