CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s been two days since Hamas fired more than 2,000 rockets towards Israel, sparking a deadly war.

On Monday, News13 spoke with a Coastal Carolina professor and retired marine intelligence officer about how the US is helping Israel.

Mark Chandler said the attack came when it did as Israel was getting close to reaching an agreement with Saudi Arabia for peace, and Hamas wanted to create instability on the region and throw the peace agreements off.

Two years ago, Hamas instituted rocket attacks against Israel, resulting in an 11-day conflict.

The attack on Saturday caught the country off-guard and resulted in the prime minister saying the country is now “at war” with Hamas and vowing to inflict an “unprecedented price,” according to CBS News.

The total number of deaths has surpassed 1,300, including nine US citizens.

Chandler, who was a marine intelligence officer for 30 years, said this was a surprise and he believes the US will be ready for what is yet to come.

“It’s a shock to the American system to see such an attack, and so I think we need to brace ourselves for more American deaths, unfortunately, and then hope that we don’t see a broader regional conflict,” he said. “The US is moving assets, more military assets to the region. That primarily is defensive, but if we have to assist to rescue American citizens that, you know, the United States should be prepared to do that. So, I think we have some darker days ahead of us.”

He also shared how this affects the United States.

“Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East. So, looking for long-term security and prosperity there, and we do have goals and objectives to maintain peace in that region,” Chandler said. “We should care about Hamas has invaded Israel and the tragedy that they’re creating there. We also don’t want that to grow into a larger regional war.”

Chandler said he will use this as a strong learning point from both a failure and an analytic perspective in his classroom.

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Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, & read more of her work here.