Israeli fighter jet. (IAF) IAF
Israeli fighter jet


‘World-class air power’: Israel and US develop joint military capabilities against Iranian threat.

By Sharon Wrobel, The Algemeiner

Israel and the United States are developing joint military capabilities against the growing threat posed by Iran, the IDF’s Chief of Staff said during a visit by the head of the US Central Command head.

“We are training and developing joint military capabilities at an accelerated rate in the face of the developing threats in the Middle East, and against the Iranian regime in particular,” said IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi as US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Michael Erik Kurilla concluded his fourth official visit to Israel since taking up the post in April this year.

During the visit, Kurilla discussed opportunities with IDF senior officers to enhance “integrated air and missile defense and regional security,” according to a CENTCOM statement.

“Our strategic partnerships within the region – to include our longstanding, ironclad partnership with the IDF – are critical to regional security and stability,” Kurilla said. “All these trips to the region inform my understanding of the threats and challenges faced by each country and the capabilities available.”

Together with IDF Commanding Officer of the Northern Command, Ori Gordin, Kurilla toured along the so-called Blue Line near the Lebanese-Israeli border and was given a briefing on the challenges posed by the operations of the Hezbollah terrorist group and its use of Lebanese civilians as well as the strategic importance of securing Israel’s maritime border with Lebanon.

Along a border line between Israel and Syria, Gordin gave Kurilla an overview of the IDF’s operations aimed at preventing the entrenchment of Iranian terrorist proxies in Syria and the recruitment of local residents to carry out terror attacks. As part of the tour, Kurilla visited an observation post overlooking the Golan Heights, where Gordin briefed him on smuggling routes between Lebanon and Syria used by Iran to transfer weapons and explosives to the Hezbollah.

At the Nevatim Air Force base in Israel’s south, IDF Commanding Officer of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar presented Kurilla with the 116th Lions of the South Squadron, which flies the F-35I fighter jets.

“Israel maintains a remarkably impressive airpower capability here in the Nevatim Air Force base,” Kurilla stated. “The Israeli Air Force maintains world-class air power with cutting-edge systems, the highest level of professionalism and a first-class combat capability.”