Dr Mike Evans

US Army Central Command leader visits Israel to build ties

U.S. Army Central Command head General Michael Kurilla traveled to Israel on Tuesday to visit Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi to build ties between the military forces of the two nations.

The visit was announced by the IDF and confirmed in a statement from CENTCOM spokesman Joe Buccino.

The announcement comes one day after Central Command reported stopping an Iranian vessel transporting materials to Yemen.

“On Nov 8, CENTCOM forces intercepted a stateless dhow in the Gulf of Oman originating from Iran smuggling a massive volume of explosive material to Yemen, including 360k+ lbs of urea fertilizer (used in explosives) + ammonium perchlorate (used in ballistic missile fuel),” U.S. Central Command’s Twitter account reported on Monday.

“Our naval forces searched the vessel. Our forces sank the vessel and transferred its Yemeni crew to civil authorities,” it added.

“Alongside our partner forces, CENTCOM is committed to security and stability of the region and to deterring the illegal and destabilizing flow of explosive material into the region over land, in the air, and at sea,” Kurilla said in the statement regarding the incident.

The report adds to growing concerns regarding Iran’s efforts to increase violence through proxies. In addition to Yemen, Iran has increased attacks into Iraq and Syria.

A growing pushback has emerged in recent years from the U.S. and Israel alongside the nations in the Abraham Accords. Signed in Washington, D.C., in 2020 under then-President Donald Trump, Israel normalized relations with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, Israel has pursued cooperation with nations such as Saudi Arabia to build a stronger coalition against Iran. Israel has also pushed for the U.S. and other Western nations to end their efforts to restart the 2015 nuclear agreement. The effort has most recently deteriorated and is unlikely to move forward.