5/17/2023 – | Last update: 5/17/2023 08:25 PM (Mecca Time)
The American "Axios" website said – quoting US and Israeli officials – that the Biden administration proposed to Israel a few weeks ago the idea of engaging in joint military planning regarding Iran, but Tel Aviv views the proposal with suspicion.
US officials say the proposal is "unprecedented" and could significantly raise the level of military cooperation between the US and Israel, but Israel fears it is an American attempt to "tie Israel's hands" from taking action against Iran – especially its nuclear facilities – if the US objects.
A US official stressed that the proposal "is not related to planning any kind of joint US-Israeli strikes against Iran's nuclear program."
According to Axios, the proposal came during recent visits to Israel by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and the commander of the US Central Command, General Eric Korella.
A senior Israeli official said that Israel did not reject the idea, but asked for clarification on what "joint military planning" means in practice, and whether this process would remain within the framework of intelligence or could be extended to the field of joint operations.
A US official said the proposal was aimed at reassuring Israel of US military support, and was not intended in any way to tie its hand toward Iran.
According to the US official, such joint planning means that each side participates in its various contingency plans, and the two sides can discuss ways to better deal with the different scenarios that could develop with regard to Iran's activities in the region.
And at the end of last April, the American Wall Street Journal quoted US officials as saying that the US military had sent attack fighters equipped with bunker-buster bombs to the Middle East, with the aim of deterring Iran.
The American newspaper added that the purpose of sending more deadly weapons to arm the A-10 Warthog bombers is to give pilots a greater chance of success in destroying ammunition caches and other fortified targets inside Syria and Iraq, where American forces have been attacked by backed militias. from Tehran.
"The A-10 fighters are very effective in carrying out some of the required missions," says Air Force General Alexus Grynkewich, who oversees US military operations over Syria and over 20 other countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.