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Top U.S. General to Visit Israel, Coordinate Plans as Iran Retaliation Threat Looms: Report


By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

A high-level U.S. general is set to visit Israel on Thursday and coordinate defense plans against a looming attack threat from Iran, Axios reported on Wednesday.

Israel launched targeted airstrikes on an Iranian diplomatic consulate in Damascus, Syria, last week and killed several members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), including a senior general of the Quds Force. Iran has promised retaliation against Israel — though Tehran’s plans aren’t currently known — and the U.S. has been helping Israel prepare for a defensive, Axios reported, citing U.S. and Israeli officials.

Gen. Erik Kurilla, commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), is expected to meet with senior officials from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and discuss options, according to Axios. Gallant spoke earlier in the week with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer spoke separately with State Secretary Antony Blinken.

Iran has the option of relying on its terrorist proxy forces throughout the Middle East to strike Israel, as to avoid joining in a direct conflict. Iran has relied on these proxies to attack U.S., Israeli and Western forces throughout the Middle East since Oct. 7, the day Hamas invaded Israel and killed over 1,200 civilians, prompting a retaliation from Israeli forces.

Iran could also choose to attack Israel directly by relying on its own military — an option it rarely exercises — and launching missiles from within the mainland against Israeli targets, according to Axios. If Iran chooses this option, Israel will retaliate with its own strike, Israeli officials told the outlet.

Israel asked the U.S. to come to their aid by sending public and private warnings to Tehran not to act, according to Axios. The U.S. and Israel are also currently conducting joint air and missile exercises in the Israeli region in preparation for a possible Iranian attack.

President Joe Biden warned Iran against taking escalatory action on Wednesday, Axios reported.

“We also want to address the Iranian threat to launch a significant attack in Israel,” Biden said during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday. “As I told Prime Minister Netanyahu, our commitment to Israel’s security against these threats from Iran and its proxies is iron clad.”

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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