Jan 16, 2021

Amid the Iranian threat, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley visited Israel on Thursday as part of an overseas trip.

During the two-day stop in Israel, Milley met with Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi on Thursday at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, along with a number of other senior IDF officials, including the defense attaché to the United States, Maj. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs, and head of the IDF’s Iran Command Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman.

During Milley’s visit, he and Kohavi lit a menorah to commemorate the eighth night of the Hanukkah.

On Friday, Milley met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Kohavi at Gantz’s office in Tel Aviv.

“During the meeting, they discussed the challenges and different changes in the operational situation in the Middle East,” said Gantz’s office. “Gantz stressed to Milley the importance of continued pressure on the regime in Iran and the IDF’s preparedness for all eventualities in the face of Iran’s regional aggression and nuclear armament.”

He also told Milley that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East was an “important element in regional stability, which must be preserved,” according to Gantz’s office.

Milley’s visit followed the killing last month of the head of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, for which Iran has blamed Israel for the act. In response, Tehran has threatened to attack American and Israeli targets in response to Fakhrizadeh’s death.

In addition to Israel, Milley also visited Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.