Skip to main content

CENTCOM chief begins Israel visit, coordinating for possible Iran attack

CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Kurilla, on a regional tour, discussed preparations for a possible retaliatory attack by Iran against Israel.
CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla (L) and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi meet in Tel Aviv, May 30, 2023.

Head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla met Thursday in Tel Aviv with Israeli military chief of staff Herzi Halevi to coordinate preparations for a possible Iranian attack against Israel, Israeli sources said. 

Kurilla’s visit to Israel came as the first leg of a prescheduled tour of US-aligned countries in the region, but the date of his arrival was “moved up” amid threats by Iran’s leaders to retaliate against Israel for recent Israeli airstrikes that killed seven IRGC officials in Damascus.

The visit by Kurilla, who commands all US forces in the Middle East, comes as the Biden administration vows to defend Israel from retaliatory attacks by Iran and its proxies.

After meeting with Halevi, Kurilla was scheduled to visit the Israeli Air Force's underground headquarters for a presentation on Israel's multilayer defense and offense systems to tighten coordination on both those fronts. On Friday, the CENTCOM commander is expected to meet with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant before continuing on his regional tour.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.