The head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) returned to Israel on Thursday after five days of talks with US officials in Washington that were focused on Iran and said joint military operations between the US and Israel will be “significantly expanded.”
“In order to improve our capabilities in the face of challenges in the region, joint activity with the US Central Command will be significantly expanded in the near future,” IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said, according to The Times of Israel.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi’s trip to the US came amid soaring tensions with Iran as the US is ramping up sanctions on the Islamic Republic and expressing support for protesters inside the country. Kohavi said that Israel will “continue to act at an accelerated rate against the entrenchment of the Iranian regime in the region.”
Earlier this week, Kohavi held talks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William Burns. Kohavi said that he stressed to the US officials that the US and Israel should step up planning for joint attacks on Iran.
Israel frequently carries out covert attacks inside Iran, but it’s unclear if the IDF could pull off airstrikes in Iran without support from the US. Striking Iranian nuclear facilities that have been built underground in response to Israeli sabotage would require bunker-busting bombs that Israel doesn’t have.
The US acknowledged in its recently released nuclear posture review that Iran has not decided to build a nuclear weapon, but that hasn’t stopped the hype and threats from both Israeli and US officials.