CENTCOM Chief Arriving In Israel To Discuss Iran
Commander of CENTCOM, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, was scheduled to arrive in Israel on Thursday for talks with IDF top brass about Iran and other regional challenges.
McKenzie’s arrival – he is scheduled to spend one day in Israel – is the first high-level visit by a top American official since Joe Biden was sworn in as president last week and comes just two days after Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi attacked American plans to negotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran.
The general’s visit is the first since the Pentagon decided to move Israel from the jurisdiction of the European Command (EUCOM) in the US military to the Central Command. Israel has traditionally been barred from CENTCOM, which works closely with Arab states, many of which until now refused to openly operate alongside the IDF.
Government officials said that the move to CENTCOM is of strategic significance for Israel and will allow for closer coordination and cooperation with the US military, with an emphasis on events in the Middle East.
In another sign of growing regional cooperation, the US Air Force held a drill with Qatar this week integrating Emiri Air Force Rafale fighters with American KC-135 refueling tankers. The drill was held out of Qatar’s Al Udeid Air Base.
Read More: Jerusalem Post