(USNewsMag.com) – On Oct. 11, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke stated that “considerable effort” would be required for U.S. special operations forces to be involved with a potential rescue mission for hostages held captive by Hamas.
On Oct. 7, Hamas attacked Israel, killing over 1,300 and taking almost 200 hostages, including Americans. The number of Americans killed in the Oct. 7 attack is currently 27, with at least 14 still missing and assumed to be being held hostage.
A Navy SEAL for 23 years, Zinke said that taking many hostages “is a considerable effort.”
In an advisory capacity, U.S. military advisors have been consulting about potential rescue missions with Israeli special forces. Zinke said that it would be a “national command authority decision” for the U.S. special operations forces to physically assist with any rescue mission.
According to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the U.S. special operations forces are currently assisting the Israel Defense Forces with “planning and intelligence.”
According to military officials, special operations teams that are located in a European country near Israel have also been placed on alert.
Concerns that those rescuing the hostages should be aware of were outlined by Zinke, including how hostages could be killed during an attack on one Hamas militant.
President Joe Biden has stated that the U.S. is doing “a lot” to help free the hostages held in Gaza by Hamas.
While the exact number of hostages still remains unclear, in a video posted on Oct. 16 by an Al-Qassam Brigades spokesperson, Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said they have between 200 and 250 hostages. The spokesperson, Abu Obaida, adds that Al-Qassam Brigades and another militant formation are each holding hostages, with the exact amount unknown due to the bombing of Gaza. Obaida added that airstrikes have killed 22 hostages; however, that remains unconfirmed. As of Oct. 17, over 4,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began the airstrikes on Gaza.
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