Pentagon sends 3 cargo planes to Lebanon filled with aid as questions on blast remain

Pentagon sends 3 cargo planes to Lebanon filled with aid as questions on blast remain
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The Pentagon is flying aid to Lebanon following the massive explosion that killed at least 150 people and injured thousands more in Beirut and has caused much speculation with no definitive answers as to its origin.

The U.S. military will send three Air Force C-17 cargo planes filled with food, water, and medical supplies, the first of which took off from Qatar and reached Beirut by Thursday afternoon. Two additional C-17s scheduled to deliver more pallets of food and water within the next 24 hours, according to a U.S. Central Command statement on Thursday.

Top Defense Department spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman later told reporters that an investigation into the blast is ongoing and that “no definitive cause” has yet been found.

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He added that the United States will defer to the Lebanese government to complete their investigation and reach any conclusions but will provide assistance if asked.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE on Tuesday caused confusion when he declared the explosion an “attack” after he said he “met with some of our great generals that seemed to feel that it was.”

But Defense Secretary Mark Esper a day later said “most believe” the massive blast was an accident.

Asked about the discrepancy, Hoffman said the situation has “been fast evolving” and that over the course of the two days “we saw different information come to light.”

“The president and the secretary have both been consistent that we’ve reached no definitive cause for the explosion and that information is still coming in and we’re going to continue to assess it,” Hoffman said.

He added that the U.S. military will continue to work with the Lebanese Armed Forces to provide any additional aid and assistance in the wake of the tragedy.