“In support of the hostage rescue efforts, the U.S. is conducting unarmed flights over Gaza and providing advice and assistance to our Israeli partners in their efforts to rescue the hostages,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder told The New York Times. “The flights of these drones began after the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas,” he noted.
According to websites that track aircraft positions, it should be MQ-Reaper drones, Amelia Smith, who deals with the issue, told The New York Times.
These machines belong to special forces and were first detected on October 28. They fly at an altitude of 7200 to 7800 meters. They move mainly over the southern part of the Gaza Strip, about 25 km from the places where the Israelis entered the Palestinian territory.
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Reapers were originally intended primarily for attacks on ground targets, but are now used for observation due to their sensitive sensors and endurance of up to 20 hours.
Satellites also collect information
American military satellites have also been focused on the Gaza Strip since the attack by Hamas. Additional intelligence is obtained by American aircraft taking off from two aircraft carriers in the area.
According to CNN, Israel is being given only information used to identify the hostages, and not information that could be used to attack the Hamas leader and his positions, CNN reported, citing US officials. How the MQ-9s can help locate the hostages, who are apparently underground, is not clear.
According to The New York Times, several dozen members of special forces have also been sent to Israel to advise Israel in trying to free the hostages.