The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that the US is flying drones over Gaza as part of the efforts to locate the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas following its October 7 attack on Israel.

“In support of hostage recovery efforts, the US is conducting unarmed UAV flights over Gaza, as well as providing advice and assistance to support our Israeli partner as they work on their hostage recovery efforts,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said, as quoted by CNN.

He added, “These UAV flights began after the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel.”

On Thursday, two US officials quoted by Reuters said that the United States has been flying surveillance drones over Gaza in search of hostages taken by Hamas

One of the officials said they had been carrying out the drone flights for over a week.

It is not clear how helpful the imagery gathered by the overhead flights in Gaza will be in locating hostages, since they are widely believed to be held in the vast network of underground tunnels, some former intelligence officials said.

US officials insisted that the intelligence gathered by the drones and shared with Israel is limited to hostage recovery efforts and is not so-called “targeting intelligence” — information used to conduct lethal strikes against Hamas leaders and positions.

US officials have said 10 Americans who remain unaccounted for may be among the more than 200 people taken as hostages into Gaza.

Two hostages with US citizenship, Judith and Natalie Raanan, were freed by Hamas two weeks ago.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)