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Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder Holds a Press Briefing

MAJOR GENERAL PAT RYDER: All right, good afternoon, everyone. Good to be back in the briefing room after several weeks of travel. Just a few things at the top, and then we'll get right to your questions.

On Friday, Secretary Austin concluded a productive trip to Brussels, where he hosted the 23rd session of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group on June 13, followed by his participation in the NATO Defense Ministerial on June 14. 

The UDCG once again brought together representatives from over 50 countries to discuss and coordinate security assistance for Ukraine as they continue to defend against Russian aggression. The meeting underscored the continued commitment, unity and resolve of allies and partners to help bolster Ukraine's defense infrastructure and support its sovereignty both in the near and long term.

The subsequent NATO Defense Ministerial afforded NATO allies the opportunity to discuss several critical issues, including enhanced support for Ukraine, strengthening NATO's deterrence and defense capabilities and preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Washington. During the ministerial, NATO defense ministers reaffirmed their commitment to providing sustained military assistance to Ukraine. 

The ministerial was the last major milestone prior to the upcoming NATO 75th Anniversary Summit, which is scheduled for here in Washington, D.C. from July 9-11. Notably, the summit will bring together leaders and defense ministers from all 32 NATO member countries to commemorate our enduring alliance and address critical global security challenges. 

The summit will also underscore our unwavering mutual commitment to collective defense, transatlantic unity and ongoing support for Ukraine. We'll have much more to provide about the summit in the near future.

Shifting gears, on June 9, Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed AV-8B Harrier jets, MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and personnel to Ronneby Airport in Kallinge, Sweden, for Exercise Baltops '24. 

The detachment, part of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, demonstrates the ability to project force over 900 nautical miles and establish a forward operating base, enhancing combined response capability and interoperability in the Baltic Sea region. For more information on Exercise Baltops '24, please contact U.S. Marine Corps Public Affairs.

And finally, the department announced today at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, a first-of-its-kind partnership with Duke Energy to power five major military installations in North and South Carolina with solar electricity. 

Through this procurement, Duke Energy will provide carbon-free electricity to five major military installations in North and South Carolina, including U.S. Army Fort Liberty, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. 

The contract, valued at $248 million, will provide an estimated 4.8 million MWh of carbon-free energy over a 15-year delivery period from two newly-constructed off-site solar facilities in South Carolina. By supporting the construction of new clean renewable energy, we're enhancing our resilience in support of the warfighter and DOD mission. For additional information about this unique initiative, I'd refer you to Fort Liberty Public Affairs.

With that, be happy to take your questions. I see AP is out of the room today, so we'll go ahead and start with Liz here. Put you on the spot.

Q: Great. I guess just to follow up on the continued Houthi attacks, a mariner was killed. A different mariner was critically injured. You know, what is the Pentagon, what is CENTCOM going to do differently to prevent these from happening?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks. So again, you know, we're very focused on ensuring that these kinds of attacks are degraded, that the Houthis will continue to understand that there's going to be a price to be paid for essentially preventing freedom of navigation in this vital international waterway, and it's just completely unacceptable. 

So again, we continue to work very closely with partners in the region to provide capabilities to safeguard maritime travel through the Red Sea and elsewhere, and we'll continue to stay very focused on that.

Q: On a separate topic, last week in Brussels, Secretary Austin called on more NATO countries to up their defense spending. What specifically is the U.S. doing to, you know, get that to happen, to have these other countries just spend more on their defenses?

GEN. RYDER: Well, I think you've seen, you know, not only Secretary Austin, but the secretary-general of NATO has talked about this. You know, it's very important that we, as NATO allies, all contribute to our collective defense. 

And I won't speak for individual nations and I think the secretary's words on this speak for itself — other than to say that we all have a vested interest in making sure a strong, secure NATO, and I think what you continue to see our NATO allies stepping up to do that. So I'm confident that will continue to be a topic of discussion, to include at the upcoming summit.


Q: Thanks. Who does the Pentagon assess to be the current global leader of the Islamic State? There's been some confusion about that recently.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I mean, you know, I'm sure you're tracking that ISIS declared last year that Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is its fifth leader. You know they run a succession of leaders. Doesn't seem to be a long life expectancy these days. 

So, you know, not a lot of information out there publicly available, but again, you know, I'm sure you could reach out to DNI and they could help you deep dive on that.

Q: Also, to follow up on Ukraine and F-16s, how many pilots does the U.S. and its allies in the UDCG expect to be ready to fly F-16s this summer?

GEN. RYDER: So that's really a question that's best addressed by Ukraine. You know, they should be the ones to talk about pilot management in terms of the overall size of their fleet, their overall size of their pilot cadre, and what their expectations are in terms of how they're going to implement that program.

Our focus is on working with the air capability coalition to identify what their requirements are and then meeting those requirements. And as you know, training being conducted both in Arizona and in Denmark. There's the capacity to conduct additional training at other locations, you know, that are being prepared in Europe, because again, this will be a long-term proposition in terms of supporting them through the air capability coalition. Thanks.


Q: Pat, any update on the Gaza pier, when it'll be up and running again? And also, with the airdrops, when do you expect them to resume?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, in terms of the JLOTS, we expect it will go operational again this week, and I don't have a specific date to give you right now but of course we'll keep you posted on that.

As far as airdrops go, we do have the capability and do intend to continue conducting airdrops. So again, as those happen, CENTCOM will post them.

Q: ... airdrops?

GEN. RYDER: There is no holdup, per se. There's always going to be a variety of factors to take into account, to include the conditions on the ground, the weather. And so, you know, very similar to the pier, you've got to take a variety of factors into account when making those decisions. 

But again, you know, kind of — you didn't ask this — but to your point, this is a multifaceted effort to get aid into Gaza. Whether it be via land, air, or sea, we're going to continue to do what we need to do to make that happen. Thank you.

Lara? And then I'll go to this side of the room, I promise.

Q: Thank you. So the New York Times just reported, based on aid groups, saying that the pier could be dismantled as early as this coming month, in July. Is that accurate?

GEN. RYDER: Look, we've said all along, first of all, that the pier is a temporary measure. I don't have any dates to announce, in terms of when it will cease operations. Of course, as I just mentioned, we're looking forward to getting it operational again soon and to delivering aid. And, you know, we're going to capitalize on the conditions, you know, in terms of weather, to get as much aid across that pier as we can.

Q: Is there a delay in getting the pier back operational now, or is it not repaired?

GEN. RYDER: Well, as you know, it went to Ashdod to get repaired, and I just said again it's going to get — we expect that it will go operational again this week.

Q: And then I just wanted to ask you to see if you confirmed the reports last week that the U.S. is sending an additional Patriot to Ukraine from Poland?

GEN. RYDER: Again, I don't have anything to announce in terms of additional Patriots for Ukraine. As you saw Secretary Austin say at the Contact Group and during the NATO defense ministerials, air defense continues to be a high priority for Ukraine, and we're going to continue to work closely with allies and partners to ensure they have what they need to defend their people.

OK, yes, sir?

Q: Yeah, thank you, General. My question on Iraq and HMC meeting with the Iraqi government of HMC meetings, High Military Commission meetings, to discuss about the future of U.S.-led global coalition in Iraq. 

It's been six months passed, and do you have any updates for me — well, where are you in these meetings? Have you gotten any decision about the future of the U.S.-led global coalition in Iraq and the U.S. military presence?

GEN. RYDER: As I understand it, so far, the working groups continue to meet. Within the coming weeks, my understanding is that participants intend to have another principals meeting, where coalition leaders will receive a progress update, but as of right now, I don't have anything additional to pass along.

Q: ... any deadline for these meetings?

GEN. RYDER: Not that I'm aware of, but again, I mean, obviously the groups are coming together to talk about very important things, to include, you know, one, what is the current threat that ISIS poses, what is the operating environment, and looking at Iraqi Security Forces' capabilities.

And so again, I think understanding that this is a very important discussion and a very important set of meetings, they're going to continue to stay focused on making progress in that regard, but I just don't want to get ahead of it and speculate on when specifically they will be ready to make any type of announcements.

Yes, sir?

Q: Thank you, General. Several official sources report that it is important the U.S. continue to corroborate with international coalition forces, the Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army to prevent the reorganization of ISIS. What is your comment on this?

GEN. RYDER: Well, you know, look, the Iraqi Security Forces, to include Peshmerga, have had significant impact on ISIS's ability to conduct the kind of terror operations that we saw, you know, a decade ago. And so that's a real testament to the capabilities and the effectiveness of these forces working together in the region.

So, you know, kind of related to your colleague's question there, we're going to continue to work closely with the Iraqi government and other partners in the region, to include the Peshmerga, when it comes to what is the ISIS threat, what do we need to do to ensure that it can't resurge in the way that we had seen it do earlier, and make sure that, at the same time, that our partners have the capabilities that they need to be able to ensure that ISIS doesn't come back, the enduring defeat of ISIS. Thank you.

Let me go to the phone here real quick. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post?

Q: Thanks, General, appreciate your time. On these Houthis attacks, we've had a number of discussions this year about interdiction. Clearly, weapons are still getting in, clearly that remains a challenge. Is there anything more that the Pentagon, the U.S. military can do there to get after that problem? 

And then relatedly, earlier this year, we saw a number of kind of large wave attacks by the U.S. military and allies on the Houthis. In light of these attacks over the last several days, at least one of which was deadly, is there reason we haven't seen something similar of late? Thanks.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Dan. So a few things. You know, so first of all, again, keeping in mind what we're focused on here, which is safety and freedom of navigation when it comes to this vital waterway, the Red Sea, through which 10 to 15 percent of international commerce traverses — and so that is something that we're going to continue to stay focused on.

And in terms of Houthi strikes, I think, yes, you know, it is incredibly unfortunate that some of these strikes have struck vessels as recently as this week, as you saw, or over this weekend.

And it's also important to highlight the impact that U.S. and international forces have had in terms of thwarting many of these attacks and safeguarding shipping and the lives of mariners. And so, we're going to continue to stay focused on that. 

As you highlight, this is a whole of government effort in terms of looking at other levers by which we can compel the Houthis to stop. But our primary focus is on degrading and disrupting their ability to conduct these kinds of attacks.

And in terms of other things that can be done, you know, I think that continuing to put the spotlight from various groups to include the media into the impacts that Yemen's attacks are having on its own citizens in terms of their economic, environmental and health, as well as those, their neighbors in the region, you know, would shed some additional context and perspective in terms of the fact that these strikes are not in any way contributing to supporting the Palestinian people, that are in fact acts of terrorism, that are, if anything, making life worse for the average Yemeni and the people that live in the region.

If you want to talk about people doing things to help the Palestinians, look at the amount of aid that's going into Gaza and all we see the Houthis doing are launching missiles and trying to kill innocent mariners.

All right, let me go to Phil Stewart, Reuters.

Q: Thanks. I'd like to get your reaction to Russian President Putin's visit to North Korea where he pledged invariable support for Pyongyang. Victor Cha said this deepening Russia-North Korea relationship poses the greatest threat to U.S. national security since the Korean War. Is he right?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Phil. Again, you know, we're aware of the upcoming visit both to Pyongyang and Hanoi. And you've heard others say this too. The deepening cooperation between Russia and the DPRK is something that should be of concern, especially to anyone that's interested in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, but also supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue to fight against Russian aggression.

And so, of course, you know, you're well aware of DPRK providing ammunition and weapons to Russia that's been able to help them perpetuate their illegal and unprovoked war against the Ukrainian people.

So, it's something that we're going to continue to keep an eye on. I would say though, taking a step back, our focus when it comes to the Indo-Pacific region and the Korean Peninsula is on working with allies and partners to promote peace, stability, and security in the region, and that will continue to be our focus.

Thank you.

Q: I just want to add that issue of Putin visit to North Korea. He already in Pyongyang right now. At the meeting between President Putin and Kim Jong-un, the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement was signed between North Korea and Russia. In particular, it is known that a strengthening military cooperation, including automatic military intervention in case of emergency, will be discussed.

What impact do you think this will have on security and the peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as in Ukraine?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, well, I'm not going to comment on specific agreements between Russia and the DPRK other than to say our focus continues to be on promoting regional security and stability in the region as well as our extended deterrence efforts as it comes to supporting our ROK and Japanese allies. And so, I'll just leave it at that.

Q: One more thing. Paul LaCamera Commander of the U.S. and ROK combined the forces command, put the brakes on the South Korean government loud speaker broadcasts against the North Korea. And South Korean government stated that resumption of loud speaker broadcasting was self-defense responses to North Korea garbage balloon provocations.

What is the Pentagon's assessment from these provocations?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so I'd — I'd have to refer you to USFJ to respond to that. I just don't have any insight to provide on that.

Q: Yeah, that's (inaudible) North Korea can provocative to South Korea, but South Korea cannot (be) provocative?

GEN. RYDER: Again, you're asking me a question about an order that or a request that General LaCamera made. I'd refer you back to (USFK) for any details on that. Again, I think it's very clear that the United States and ROK are working very closely together when it comes to addressing security concerns and threats on the Korean peninsula. 

We obviously have a longstanding alliance and we continue to deepen that alliance, all focused on making sure that the people of South Korea as well as the broader Indo-Pacific region can be assured of peace and security in the region.

So again, I'd refer you to USFJ or USFK for additional details. Let me go to Luis here.

Q: There are claims, well there's a statement today by Prime Minister Netanyahu that the United States has not been providing weapons and munitions to Israel recently and he called the United States to resume that.

Is that the case, I think publicly the administration has acknowledged the 2,000-pound bombs with regards to Rafah, but has there been a slowdown? Has there been a delay? Is there a production issue? What exactly is Prime Minister talking about?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Luis. So, I won't comment on the Prime Minister's remarks themselves. As you've heard us say, we're absolutely committed to continuing to support Israel's inherent right to defend itself since Hamas's vicious attack on October 7th, we've rushed billions of dollars of security assistance to Israel to enable them to defend themselves and we're going to continue to provide them with the security assistance they need again for defense.

Now we've paused one shipment of high payload unguided munitions. There's not been a final determination at this time on how to proceed with that shipment. As you've heard us say previously, there are concerns about the use of these munitions in a dense urban setting like Rafah and we've been very clear with the Israelis about the steps that they must take to be effective in this fight. So, I'm just going to leave it at that.

Q: So, in other words, when you talked about rushing aid to Israel, that rushing aid continues?

GEN. RYDER: We continue to support Israel with security assistance and their ability to defend themselves. As I mentioned, we paused one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs, unguided bombs.

Q: I have a question about the New York Times report about the pier.


Q: Can you confirm that military officials have told aid organizations that potentially the pier, the JLOT's Trident Pier, may be dismantled next month?

GEN. RYDER: I'm not tracking any established timeline at this point, in terms of when the pier will stop operating, again with the caveat that this was always intended to be a temporary pier. I'm not aware at this point of any established date of this is when we're going to stop. 

And again, taking a step back here, the big picture, whether it be by land, sea, or air, employing all avenues to get assistance into Gaza — I mean, when you just think for a second, you know, since the pier was put in place about a month ago, we've been able to shuttle over 3,500 metric tons, or 7.7 million pounds, of aid onto the shore in Gaza via this temporary pier.

And we're going to continue to work very closely with aid groups, with the UN, with the Israelis and other regional partners to look at ways to get additional aid in to the Palestinians, to include via this maritime corridor.

So again, when we have anything new to announce, we certainly will, but as of right now, that's where we're at.


Q: You mentioned the shipment of 2,000-pound bombs. Included in that shipment were also an even larger number, I think, of 500-pound bombs. Have the 500-pound bombs in that suspended shipment been released to go to Israel?

GEN. RYDER: Not to my knowledge. It's all part of one shipment that has been suspended, again, pending further discussion.

OK, Fadi?

Q: Thank you, General. On the Rafah, have your Israeli counterparts notified you that the invasion of Rafah is ending soon?

GEN. RYDER: I'm not — so first of all, what I'm tracking right now in Rafah is we still continue to see Israel along the Philadelphi line. They continue to conduct some limited operations into Rafah to go after Hamas units and leaders. 

We have not seen a large-scale — you used the word "invasion" — we've not seen a large-scale ground operation at this point. We're continuing to monitor that. Again, we've been very clear about what our expectations are in terms of safeguarding civilians.

I do know that a significant number of civilians have relocated to elsewhere in Gaza. That said, this continues to be a topic of discussion between our leadership and Israeli leaders when it comes to conducting operations, both within Rafah but also throughout Gaza.

Q: And last week, I asked you about the civilian toll from the Nuseirat operation that Israel conducted to rescue four hostages. This happened with U.S. support, intelligence, and logistics, as Sullivan acknowledged. 

Have you looked into the number of civilians that were killed during the operation, while noting that the Secretary, yourself, and the department have expressed many times concern about the human toll because of the Israeli operations?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, I don't have any updates to provide in terms of estimated civilian casualties, other than, again, we do know that there were civilian casualties as a part of that operation. I think the last time we spoke and this hasn't changed — we continue to see two different numbers being put out by the Israelis versus Hamas. I don't know what the facts are, other than there's an acknowledgment that there were civilian casualties as part of that operation.

But again, in all of our discussions, we continue to expect and encourage the Israelis to take civilian casualties into account, again recognizing also what we talked about last time, was the fact that this was a hostage rescue, that you have civilians — or you have hostages being held among the civilian population by an armed terrorist group, Hamas, certainly exacerbating the tensions and the challenging situation here.

So we're going to continue to expect civilian casualties to be taken into account, civilian harm mitigation to be taken into account going forward. No one wants to see any innocent civilians killed in this crossfire, whether they be Palestinians or Israelis.

Q: ...But this is an operation that the U.S. supported with logistics and intelligence, and it led to high civilian casualties, according to local authorities in Gaza, more than 280. And as a matter of fact, you've been expressing concern about civilian casualties. 

Doesn't this require a look from the department into what actually happened, since you will — as well vowing — to keep supporting Israel in its efforts to rescue the captives or hostages?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah — and just to clarify here, again, the U.S. was not a part of this military operation. We were not militarily involved, we did not have forces that participated. And again, broadly speaking, when it comes to Israel's hostage recovery efforts, we've said that we are supportive in terms of providing intelligence information, but when it comes to this specific operation, again, we were not involved in conducting or executing or planning this particular operation.

Q: ... supported the operation.

GEN. RYDER: Well, we support Israel's inherent right to defend itself against Hamas. And again, we've recognized and acknowledged that way too many civilians have died in this conflict, and we're going to continue to encourage and expect our Israeli partners to take civilian harm into account as they're conducting the operations. I'll just leave it at that.

Let me get to some other folks here. Yep?

Q: Hi. About the Fort Liberty and other Carolina forts getting the solar factories — or solar farms, as part of the Biden administration executive order that's planning for 100 percent clean energy to power up the federal government by 2030, what percent of the way to 100 percent is the Defense Department? 

And in terms of the costs of this solar — these solar farms that power the bases, is it better financially for the department to use the solar power rather than, you know, go the traditional forms of energy?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, let me take that question and we'll come back to you. 

OK, yes?

Q: On the collision between a Chinese vessel and the Philippines supply ship near the Second Thomas Shoal on Monday, there's some reports that at least eight of the Filipino sailors were injured and one of them was severely injured. So what's the Pentagon's assessment on this collision on Monday? And how much are you worried about the escalation of tensions between Philippines and China?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, so obviously very concerning reports. You know, in terms of the specifics as it relates to the Filipino sailors, I'd refer you to the Philippine government for additional details, but — and you've heard others within the U.S. government say this — this kind of behavior is provocative, it's reckless, it's unnecessary, and as you highlight, it could lead to something bigger and more violent.

And so we are going to continue to stand with our Philippine allies. We condemn the escalatory and irresponsible actions by the PRC to deny the Philippines from executing a lawful maritime operation in the South China Sea. And as you've heard Secretary Austin and others say, the Philippines' rightful, legal maritime claims must be protected.

Time for a few more. Yes, sir?

Q: Thank you, General. Regarding to the escalation in the south of Lebanon. So do you still have concerns that this war could be, expand between Hezbollah and Israel. Even if there is no deal for a ceasefire deal, do you believe that deescalate could happen very soon? And do you still believe that Hezbollah will not jump in this war?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, we do remain concerned about tensions along the border on. And of course, we continue to encourage a diplomatic solution. Preventing a wider regional conflict has been a primary focus for this department and the U.S. government writ large since Hamas's attack on October 7th.

And as you've heard, Secretary Austin say, we're going to continue to work toward that end. So, just leave it there.

Q: I'm sorry, another one. Today, Hezbollah published a video of what it says, it was a footage gathered from its monitoring the drone, including the city of Haifa's sea and airport. Some sensitive locations inside Israel.

Have you seen that video and do you have any comment about that?

GEN. RYDER: I have not seen that video, so I'm just not able to comment.

Let me do a couple more from the phone here. I'm going to go to Mike from Washington Times.

Q: Hi, thanks Pat. I was wondering if the Pentagon has a definition of strategic success for Operation Prosperity Guardian and the other mission there in the Red Sea area. I know you're shooting down a lot of drones and striking a few targets occasionally inside Yemen, but commercial ship traffic through the region has not increased appreciably since it began. You know, playing Houthi whack-a-mole isn't the objective here.

So, what actually is the objective where you say we have succeeded?

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, Mike. So, you know, let me just kind of turn this around a little bit here because, you know, there's a, this discussion about, you know, has deterrence failed? What is it that you're trying to achieve here? And it's what I talked about earlier, right? It's about preserving freedom of navigation in this vital waterway.

And I would say that really, it's the Houthis that have failed to deter the United States and the international community from continuing to operate in the Red Sea. You know, they've conducted over 190 attacks, the vast majority of which have been knocked down, thanks to U. S. and international efforts to help safeguard shipping and the lives of Mariners through operations like Operation Prosperity Guardian.

And additionally, as I mentioned before, the Houthis have been all over the map in terms of their purported rationale for conducting these strikes versus the reality of their actual operations and the impact. Whereas we've been, again, very clear why we're there, which is safety and freedom of navigation in this vitally important waterway.

So strategic success looks like the ability of the international community to continue to transit the Red Sea. And we're going to keep after it. Thanks.

All right. Let me go to JJ Green, WTOP.

Q: Thanks, General. Reuters is reporting right now that Israeli defense forces have approved operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon. And this is one of the things, the three things that the U. S. military was trying to prevent when it was sent there, the expanded forces were sent there. Any thoughts about that?

And then secondly, the Russian flotilla has moved away from Cuba and moved on to someplace else. Can you share about what you learned about what they were doing there and keeping tabs on them now, where they may be going, where may they be going?

Thank you.

GEN. RYDER: Yeah, thanks, JJ. Again, when it comes to the situation along the Israel-Lebanon border again, our focus is on working with partners in the region to include Israel, obviously, to encourage a diplomatic resolution. So, I'm not going to get into hypotheticals or speculate on what might happen other than to say no one wants to see a wider regional war. And again, we'll stay focused on that.

As it relates to any Russian naval activity, you know, near Cuba. Look, I'll refer you to the Russian MOD or Navy to talk about their current operations. As you know, and as you've heard us say we obviously closely monitored, don't see any threat to the homeland and, and these types of exercises are not new. We've seen them take place, you know, over the years.

So again, nothing concerning from our standpoint, but we'll, again, continue to monitor.

OK, I can do a couple more. Yes, ma'am.

Q: So earlier today, Taiwan's Defense Minister Koo said that they should expect the delivery of the 2B anti-tank missiles and 100 launch purchase missiles by the end of this year. Number one, why is it taking this long? Why is it there a two-year delay?

GEN. RYDER: Look, I don't have any specifics to provide in terms of aid deliveries to Taiwan other than to say, again, in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act we will continue to work with Taiwan to ensure they have the capabilities that they need to defend themselves.

And let me go ahead and go to Carla here.

Q: Follow-up to Luis' question. You know, the U.S. paused one shipment of 2,000-pound bombs to Israel. Since then, how many security packages has the U.S. military provided Israel?

GEN. RYDER: I don't have any statistics to pass along, Carla, other than to say again, you know, from the outset of Hamas attack on Israel we have worked closely to ensure that they have security assistance they need to defend themselves.

Q: There have been additional packages since then.

GEN. RYDER: Correct.

Q: OK.


Q: And then to follow up what you said to me, you said that the liberal leader of ISIS, he doesn't seem to have a long-life expectancy. Can you confirm that the U.S. military targeted the global leader of ISIS on a strike on May 31st?

GEN. RYDER: You know, there was — I would just point you back to AFRICOM's statement. I don't have anything additional to provide at this point. Of course, if there's updates, we'll be sure to let you know.

OK. Thanks very much, everybody. Appreciate it.