US To Send Military Aid To Israel Initially Intended For Ukraine: REPORT

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The United States will send military aid to Israel that was initially intended for Ukraine, Axios reported on Thursday.

The Pentagon plans to deliver tens of thousands of 155mm artillery shells to Israel that were originally appropriated several months ago for Ukraine, according to three Israeli officials who spoke to Axios. The Pentagon will also transfer two Iron Dome missile defense systems, which it had previously purchased from Israel, back to the country in a lease agreement, Reuters reported.

Both Israel and Ukraine are seeking similar military aid from the U.S., including 155mm shells, hellfire missiles, small-diameter bombs and other munitions, according to Politico.

The U.S. initially pulled the 155mm shells from an ammunition stockpile in Israel to set aside for Ukraine in early 2023, months before the country’s conflict with Hamas began; at the time, the IDF told former Israeli officials that there was no sudden need for the shells. The brutal Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 changed the situation, and the IDF subsequently told U.S. officials it was urgent they received ammunition in time for their planned ground assault against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (RELATED: Yellen Says US ‘Can Certainly Afford Two Wars’ At Once)

U.S. officials claimed that the shortage of 155mm shells for Ukraine will not immediately affect the country’s ability to continue its counteroffensive against Russia, according to Axios. While that may be true in the interim, it is uncertain how future military aid to Ukraine could be strained if the Israel-Hamas conflict erupts into a broader regional war.

Additionally, the U.S. will lease two Iron Dome missile defense systems, which it initially bought from Israel, back to the country to bolster its existing air defense network, Reuters reported on Thursday. The transfer will likely be completed in the coming days.

The Pentagon is still determining what further military aid it could transfer to Israel while maintaining military support to Ukraine, according to Politico. Details about what other military aid is being delivered to Israel weren’t disclosed by a military official who spoke to Axios.

“We are engaged in comprehensive coordination across the Department of Defense,” an anonymous U.S. military official told Axios. “This includes working closely with our combatant commands to ascertain which munitions and equipment from the U.S. inventory can be quickly made available for Israel’s needs.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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