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"Don't Support Standalone Bill That Only Funds Israel": White House Urges Inclusion Of Ukraine Aid

07:51 AM Apr 17, 2024 IST | NEWS Desk
 don t support standalone bill that only funds israel   white house urges inclusion of ukraine aid
"Don't Support Standalone Bill That Only Funds Israel": White House Urges Inclusion Of Ukraine Aid

Washington, DC [US]: White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby has expressed the Biden administration's opposition to a standalone Israel aid bill without aid to Ukraine.

While addressing a press gaggle en route to Avoca, John Kirby said that the US House of Representatives should move the bill in order to help the US get security assistance for Israel, Ukraine, and the Indo-Pacific.

Asked whether the Biden administration would support standalone bills, Kirby said, "We don't support a standalone bill that only funds Israel, because Ukraine needs munitions too.

Now, look, I think we still have to see the Speaker's proposal in more detail. The important thing is that the House moves this week to help us get security assistance for Israel, Ukraine, and also for the Indo-Pacific. They need to move this week. And as for the details, we'll wait and see what the Speaker comes up with."

He stressed that it is important that US allies like Ukraine and Israel get the security assistance they need as quickly as possible. Notably, the US has been providing security assistance to Ukraine ever since the war between Moscow and Kyiv began in 2022.

On being asked whether the Biden administration will support four bills which are being suggested by US House Speaker Mike Johnson, Kirby said, "We're going to wait and pass judgement after we've had a chance to take a look closer at the Speaker's proposal. The important thing is that our allies, like Ukraine and Israel, who are under the gun, literally, under the gun, get the security assistance they need as quickly as possible. So, we want them to move this week."

Kirby stated that "at first blush," Mike Johnson's proposal for a series of bills will help Biden administration to send aid to Ukraine, Israel and needed resources to the Indo-Pacific.

"I think we just need to see more right now than we do. I think we need to see more than we have right now to be able to. It does appear, at first blush, that the Speaker's proposals will, in fact, help us get aid to Ukraine, aid to Israel, and needed resources to the Indo-Pacific for a wide range of contingencies there. At first blush, it looks like that. We just want to get more detail," he said.

Speaking about ongoing tensions between Israel and Iran, John Kirby said that US President Joe Biden, in his call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, lauded the Israeli efforts to knock down most of the missiles and drones launched by Iran. He further said that Biden does not want to see the conflict "widen or deepen."

Asked about the advice the US has given to Israel amid its tensions with Iran, Kirby responded, "Well, again, these are going to be Israeli decisions to make and for them to speak to one way or the other. In the President's call with the Prime Minister on Saturday night, he lauded the commendable effort to successfully knock down the vast, vast majority of missiles and drones that Iran threw at them."

"And again, our view was that it was an incredible success, and that success alone sends a lot of strong messages to Iran and to our partners in the region, as well as to Israel, about how strong they are and how utterly Iran failed. The President does not want to see and he said this before: He does not want to see a war with Iran. Don't want to see the conflict widen or deepen," he added.

Earlier on Saturday, Iran launched several drones and missiles towards Israel in retaliation for the alleged Israeli air strike on its consulate in Syria that resulted in the killing of Iran's three top generals, The Times of Israel reported.

On Sunday morning, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari also said that 99 per cent of the 300 or so projectiles fired by Iran at Israel overnight were intercepted by air defences.

"This is a very significant strategic achievement," he said in a morning press statement. "The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats," Hagari said.

In addition, Hagari said that Iran fired 120 ballistic missiles at Israel. "As you can see now, the base is functioning and continues to perform its tasks. In the picture, you can see the runway at Nevatim," he said, showing live footage from the airbase.

"Iran thought it would be able to paralyse the base and thus damage our air capabilities, but it failed. Air Force planes continue to take off and land from the base, and leave for offence and defence missions, including the Adir (F-35) planes that are now returning from a base defence mission and soon you will see them landing," he added.

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