US Army’s second in command visits Israel for talks on Iranian threat

Source: Israel Hayom

The U.S. Army’s second in command arrived in Israel this week for a low-key visit during which he was set to meet with Israeli security officials over the Iranian nuclear threat and other issues, Army Radio reported on Thursday.

Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James A. Winnefeld is visiting in Israel as part of a scheduled trip and is a guest of his Israeli counterpart, IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh, Army Radio said quoting U.S. officials. In their meeting, the two military officials discussed their countries’ continued military cooperation, Army Radio reported.

Winnefeld also toured one of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems in the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday.

The U.S. officials added that the admiral was expected to participate in a series of discussions on security and defense issues of mutual concern to both countries and on strengthening collaboration between the IDF and U.S. Army.

Winnefeld’s visit to Israel comes amid continued dialogue between Jerusalem and Washington over how the West should confront Tehran’s nuclear program, including a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites. However, the low-key nature of the U.S. admiral’s visit raises questions about the U.S. and Israel’s plans regarding Iran, Army Radio said.

In recent weeks, talk over a possible Israeli attack on Iran has increased in the public sphere, with former Israeli security officials from the Mossad and IDF and many others speculating on a possible Israeli strike. Leaks from Tuesday’s meeting of the Political-Security Cabinet on intelligence matters prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to adjourn the session on Wednesday. [LINK TO STORY: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=5687]

Meanwhile, Craig Franklin, commander of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, will also travel to Israel next week in preparation for a large, joint drill between the U.S. Army and IDF next month, Army Radio reported.

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