US Vows to Defend NATO Territory After Reports of Missiles Hitting Poland

US Vows to Defend NATO Territory After Reports of Missiles Hitting Poland
Two polish MiG-29s fly over the air base in Malbork, Poland, on April 29, 2014. (Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

U.S. Defense Department press secretary Pat Ryder said the Pentagon is aware of reports claiming that “two Russian missiles” hit an area inside Poland near the Ukrainian border and killed two people.

The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement rejecting claims it was involved and said it hasn’t carried out “strikes against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border” using “Russian weapons,” according to reports. The statement further asserted that claims to the contrary are “deliberate provocations.”

Reports on Tuesday claimed two missiles hit near the Polish town of Przewodow. Polish news outlets showed a destroyed farm vehicle and an image of a crater.

A spokesperson for the Polish government, Piotr Muller, said that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki convened the Committee of the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defense Affairs on Tuesday, according to local media.

“Due to the crisis situation, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in consultation with President Andrzej Duda, ordered a meeting at the National Security Bureau with members of the National Security and Defense Committee,” Muller told reporters.

At a news conference, Ryder said the United States is “aware of the press reports alleging that two Russian missiles have struck a location inside Poland near the Ukraine border.” However, officials don’t have enough information to confirm those reports, he said.

He said that the United States “will defend every inch of NATO territory” as Washington waits for more information. “When it comes to force protection, we always take the safety and security of our troops no matter where they’re serving very seriously,” Ryder told reporters.

It’s not clear whether the missile strike was intentional or done in error.

The Russian Mash Telegram channel published a photo of what it claimed is a fragment from an S-300 missile that is often used by Ukraine, as some Russian state-run media outlets suggested Kyiv may be responsible for the incident.

“The reasons for this incident are not known at the moment,” local fire service spokesman, Marcin Lebiedowicz, told Poland’s Radio Lublin.

Unnamed U.S. officials told The Associated Press that two people died in the incident and asserted that the missiles were of Russian origin. It happened as Russia launched a barrage of missiles into Ukraine, and several crossed into Poland, which shares a lengthy border with Ukraine.

The Polish government has not publicly confirmed the information from the unnamed U.S. official to AP.

Neighboring Moldova was also affected. It reported massive power outages after the strikes knocked out a key power line that supplies the small nation, an official told AP.

Some European Union officials condemned the incident and blamed Russia although there has yet to be an official confirmation.

“My condolences to our Polish brothers in arms. Criminal Russian regime fired missiles which target not only Ukrainian civilians but also landed on NATO territory in Poland. Latvia fully stands with Polish friends and condemns this crime,” wrote Latvia’s deputy prime minister, Artis Pabriks, on Twitter.

And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy blamed Russia and said the reports represent a “significant escalation” in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X:
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