US explains why they don't defend Ukraine's skies like Israel's: "Entirely different relationship"
Iron dome. Illustrative image (Photo: EPA)

The US is not helping Ukraine shoot down Russian missiles and drones as they did with Iranian ones in Israel because US-Israeli and US-Ukrainian relations are "entirely different," according to US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller during a briefing.

Miller said he understands President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's comments about Western allies shooting down Iranian missiles and drones in the skies over Israel but being afraid to do the same in Ukraine. He said, "The president of any country who is under such withering attacks to look for any way possible to defend his people."

However, the State Department spokesperson noted that the US has "entirely different relationship with Ukraine and Israel."

"We have had a decades-long security partnership with Israel where we have been providing them direct military aid – not just going back two years of a conflict but for decades – and have had long, broad-standing communications between our military and the Israeli military that goes back decades," Miller said.

He noted that Israel is a major non-NATO ally of the US, and Ukraine is in a different position.

"We did not have that kind of agreement (on the status of a major non-NATO ally – Ed.) with them (Ukrainians) prior to the immediate months before this conflict," the spokesperson said.

Miller said the US is providing Ukraine with the equipment to defend its skies, including air defense systems such as Patriot. However, he emphasized that the US is not planning to enter into a "direct armed conflict with Russia."

"We are not in armed military conflict with Russia, which is what it would require for U.S. planes to be in the skies over Ukraine engaging with Russian attacks. And we are not going to be in direct armed conflict with Russia. The President of the United States has been – has made that very clear," Miller said.

The spokesperson said it is in the interests of the American people not to allow a direct armed conflict between the US and Russia because they "do not want World War III."

He also said that when it comes to what the US can do for Ukraine, one should look to the US Congress, as there is an additional spending bill that would allow more equipment to be provided to Ukraine.

"We hope that bill will pass," Miller added.

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