Head of the US military’s Central Command in Israel for talks
The head of the US military’s Central Command, often known as CENTCOM, which is responsible for American activities in the Middle East, is visiting Israel to meet with senior Israeli officials about Syria, Iran, and other developments in the region, according to Israel’s Kan news broadcaster.
Despite this being the first trip to Israel by the current head of CENTCOM, Gen. Joseph Votel, the visit has been without fanfare or publicity.
Votel commands the American troops in Syria, whom US President Donald Trump has considered returning back to the United States, something Israel would prefer not happen, seeing the American soldiers as helping prevent Iran’s entrenchment in Syria.
During his visit, Votel is due to meet with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, the head of Israel’s National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat, along with other senior defense officials.
“He will meet with senior officials in order to strengthen the connection between the armies and discuss security issues. This is the first time that the commander of CENTCOM visited Israel,” the army told Kan news.
Though Israel is, obviously, located in the Middle East, it does not often work with CENTCOM and instead operates with the US military’s European Command, or EUCOM.
— Judah Ari Gross