The head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) arrived in Israel on Thursday for a two-day visit. The visit from Gen. Frank McKenzie is the first since the Trump administration ordered Israel to be covered under CENTCOM.
Previously, Israel fell under US European Command because of the tensions between Israel and Washington’s Arab allies in the region. But with warming ties and normalization agreements, the US took a step to bolster cooperation between countries that see Iran as a common foe.
Although the move was announced, Israel has yet to be formally transferred to CENTCOM. “The transition planning is underway, and a final timeline will be subject to approval by the new administration,” a Pentagon spokesperson told The Times of Israel.
McKenzie is set to meet with Israel’s top military brass on Friday. On Thursday night, he has a short meeting with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi. The IDF chief released a statement on McKenzie’s visit that said cooperation between the US and Israel is key to dealing with “shared threats, principally the Iranian threat.”
Earlier this week, Kohavi said he ordered the IDF to draw up fresh plans to attack Iran’s nuclear program and made his opposition to the Biden administration rejoining the nuclear deal known.