According to a report from Israel’s Channel 13, the US will participate in planned Israeli military exercises that will simulate a large-scale attack on Iran later this month as part of Israel’s month-long Chariots of Fire drills.
The Channel 13 report said that the US Air Force will take part in the exercises with refueling planes that will join Israeli jets as they simulate entering Iranian territory and carrying out repeated airstrikes.
The simulated attack on Iran will start on May 29 over the Mediterranean Sea. According to The Times of Israel, it marks the first the Israeli Air Force will practice a large-scale assault on Iran.
The planned drills are seen as a message to Tehran and come amid stalled negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, which Israel has pressed President Biden not to reenter.
Last year, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the Israeli military was “accelerating” plans to attack Iran, and the IDF received a budget boost for such planning.
The IDF has begun closer coordination with the US and its Arab allies in the Middle East by being put under US Central Command’s (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. Israel previously was covered under US European Command since it did not have formal relations with many US allies in the Middle East.
Michael Kurilla, the new head of CENTCOM, arrived in Israel Tuesday for his first official visit to the country. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is headed to Washington this week to hold talks with his American counterpart, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.