IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot flew secretly to Brussels this week for talks on the Continent’s security situation, according to the Maariv newspaper.
Eisenkot met with America’s top general in Europe, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, to discuss the current situation in the Middle East, a military source confirmed.
Detailed information on what was discussed in Eisenkot’s meetings has been withheld. However, as Breedlove functions as both the head of America’s military presence in Europe, as well as the head of NATO, it is safe to assume that both the ongoing threats of terror in Europe and the conflicts in the Middle East, including the developing Russia-Turkey feud, were discussed.
On Tuesday, NATO-member Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft, prompting a tense stand-off between the two countries. Ankara claimed the Su-24M jet had invaded Turkish airspace and was warned multiple times before being attacked, whereas Moscow said the plane had been over Syrian territory.
Following the devastating attacks in Paris earlier this month, in which 130 people were killed and hundreds more injured, Europe has been at a heightened security level.
The Belgian capital was under partial lockdown due to terror threats. The city had been completely shut down in the preceding days over concerns of an impending attack.
Israel has stepped up its assistance in the counterterrorism effort in Europe since the Paris attacks.
For instance, Israeli intelligence prompted Germany to cancel a planned soccer match last week, German media reported.
In light of the terror threats, Eisenkot’s visit was carried out under an unusually high level of security. His detail included both Belgian and Israeli personnel, according to the Maariv newspaper.