August 13, 2023
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday compared the brutal Hamas attack on Israel to the terrorist group ISIS, which American forces have been fighting in the Middle East for nearly a decade, as he vowed to stand by Israel in the wake of the violence.
“The deliberate cruelty of Hamas vividly reminds me of ISIS: bloodthirsty, fanatical and hateful,” Austin said at a press conference in Tel Aviv with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. “And like ISIS, Hamas has nothing to offer but zealotry and bigotry and death.
Austin, who fought against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and led coalition forces against the extremist group before retiring from military service, said when he was in combat he felt as if he “were staring evil in the eye.”
“It was truly evil. And what we’ve seen from Hamas, it takes that evil to another level,” he added. “And so that’s the first thing that we need to remember and consider.” Israel has a right to protect its people.