In a final attempt to create an Arab-Israeli front against Iran before the end of his term, Donald Trump made a significant change in the US military's Central Command, which supervises the military's operations in the Middle East and Southwest Asia: the outgoing American president ordered the Central Command to add Israel to the list of countries under its responsibility. Until now, Israel was under the responsibility of the European Command.
The Military Times website reports that until recently the possibility of transferring Israel to the Central Command did not exist due to tensions between Israel and the countries of the region that are the allies of CENTCOM in areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. However, the normalization agreements with the Sunni Gulf states, and Israel's cooperation with them, are changing the picture. Israel will now be the 21st country under the American Central Command.
"The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East," the Pentagon said in an official statement released Friday. "Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our U.S. Central Command partners while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies."
So what is expected for Israel under the new status? The Military Times raised the question of whether Israeli military forces will be sent to assist American troops in points of conflict in the Middle East. In some ways, they already have been, said Retired Army Maj. Gen. Mike Jones, who commanded CENTCOM in the past, in comments to the website. "They are already doing strikes in the AOR — Syria the other day," he said. "They’ve previously gone into Iran, Lebanon, etc. Obviously there is a high degree of cooperation between the U.S. and Israel on defense issues.”
The website also quoted an unidentified senior U.S. intelligence official as saying that the latest attack in Syria that took place last week, and was attributed to Israel, was carried out on the basis of intelligence provided by the US, and that the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, discussed the topic with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Washington restaurant last week. On the same day, Pompeo accused Iran of being the new base of the al-Qaida organization.