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#Pompeo predicts Israel’s attacks on Hamas likely to last ‘months’

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled that an Israeli invasion of Gaza could last months, and that the U.S. should be prepared to support a long-term military operation in the region.

“We’re not talking about hours this evening, or days this week. We are talking about months to defeat Hamas in detail,” Pompeo said in a Fox News interview Friday. “That’s the requirement. That’s the necessary requirement to keep the Israelis, and frankly as we’ve seen Americans, safe, as well.”

Israel performed near-nightly raids on Gaza this week following weeks of continuous bombardment of the territory. The Israeli military stayed in Gaza early Saturday, hinting that the operation could be the beginning of an expected ground invasion of the territory.

“The forces are still on the ground and are continuing the war,” Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said.

Pompeo’s comments came at the beginning of the Friday raid. The former secretary of state also criticized the Biden administration for its response to attacks on U.S. troops in Syria from Iran-backed militias in the area. The U.S. struck multiple militia sites on Thursday in retaliation, but Pompeo said Biden should go farther.

“This is all orchestrated trade funded by one place, the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. “And what Israel is doing tonight will only continue to drive Iran to take even more aggressive actions unless the United States does its fundamental role of deterring them.”

Iran has publicly warned the U.S. of possible escalation if it continues to back Israel in its war against Hamas. Iran has long been an ally and supporter of Hamas, which is designated a terrorist organization in the U.S.

White House spokesman John Kirby said the strikes in Syria on Thursday “proved” that the Biden administration is holding Iran accountable.

“I think we proved pretty clearly last night that we’re holding Iran accountable,” Kirby said on Friday.

“The IRGC [Israeli Revolutionary Guard Corps] works for the Supreme Leader and they are directing, facilitating, funding, training the militia groups that are attacking our troops in Iraq and Syria,” he continued. “And those two targets we hit last night, go right to the IRGC.”

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