April 23, 2024

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US and Jordanian forces drop air aid into Gaza

US and Jordanian forces drop air aid into Gaza

United States Central Command

US Central Command and the Royal Jordanian Air Force conducted a joint humanitarian airdrop in Gaza on March 2, 2024.



CNN

The US Central Command announced on Saturday that the United States and Jordan had airdropped humanitarian aid into Gaza President Joe Biden The United States confirmed Will withdraw “every station” To deliver more aid to the besieged coastal enclave.

The US Central Command said in a statement that the joint operation carried out by the US Air Force and the Royal Jordanian Air Force witnessed US C-130 aircraft dropping 38,000 meals along the Gaza coast.

A US official said 66 packages were dropped, 22 from each of the three planes. There was no water or medical supplies in the packages.

US Central Command said: “These airdrops are part of an ongoing effort to deliver more aid to Gaza, including by expanding the flow of aid via land corridors and routes.”

White House officials described Saturday's operation as “successful.”

“The fact that today’s airdrop was successful is an important test case to show that we are able to do it again in the coming days and weeks successfully,” a senior administration official said during a call with reporters on Saturday.

The senior official added that the Ministry of Defense is planning to conduct additional airdrops in Gaza in the coming days, but he refused to provide further details.

On Friday, Biden lamented the slow pace of aid to Gaza while announcing upcoming airdrops. Speaking alongside Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office, Biden also spoke about the United States He was working to broker a ceasefire This would allow additional aid to be provided.

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Biden said he would “insist” that Israel allow more trucks and roads to deliver aid to Gaza.

“We will insist that Israel facilitate more trucks and more roads to provide more and more people with the assistance they need, without any excuses,” Biden said. “Innocent lives are at stake, children's lives are at stake.”

Other countries, including the United Arab Emirates and France, dropped air aid into Gaza. But Saturday's operation was the first of its kind for the United States.

Before the announcement of Saturday's operation, several aid agencies criticized US plans to drop food aid as ineffective, while the United Nations warned that hundreds of thousands of Gazans were trapped. On the verge of starvation.

Richard Gowan, UN Director of the International Crisis Group he said on social media“Humanitarian workers always complain that airdrops are good photo opportunities but a poor way to deliver aid.”

This story and headline have been updated with additional information.

CNN's Camilla Dechalos, Sophie Tanno and Samantha Waldenberg contributed to this report.