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Top US military commander visits Israel amid growing Middle East tensions

This handout photo from Mar. 3, 2023, shows IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, left, and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (right) meeting with visiting Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Photo: Sivan Shachor/GPO)

Lt.-Gen. Mark Milley, the 20th chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel on Friday for top-level talks with Israeli Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi. 

The two commanders will reportedly discuss “regional security challenges, expanding opportunities for operational cooperation [and] coordinating between the militaries” amid growing tensions throughout the volatile Middle East. 

The growing nuclear threat from Iran as well as the spike in violence and anti-Israel terror activity in specific hotspots in the West Bank are expected to be high on the agenda. 

Milley met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said that "Ongoing cooperation is required in order to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon.”

The high-ranking U.S. military commander’s visit to Israel precedes the upcoming visit by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday.

While in the Middle East, Milley also made a surprise visit to Syria, where fewer than 1,000 U.S. soldiers continue to support local militias that fight against the extremist Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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