US Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (pic on left) arrived on Friday in Israel, where he met with his IDF counterpart, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, and other top officials.
“The IDF & the US Armed Forces share a mutual interest to prevent Iran and its proxies from jeopardizing the stability of the region,” Kochavi said.
Milley’s visit came amid heightened tensions on the Jewish state’s northern frontier following the death of a Hezbollah fighter in a reported Israeli air strike in Syria earlier this week.
The IDF tweeted on Friday that it was “elevating its readiness to defend Israel’s northern border from all enemy threats with changes to troop deployment & enhanced field intelligence activity in the area.”
“We hold the Lebanese government responsible for all actions emanating from Lebanon,” it added.
Hezbollah — a Shi’a proxy of the Iranian regime — is based in southern Lebanon but has been heavily involved in recent years in the ongoing civil war in Syria, where it has fought on behalf of the Assad regime.
The Israeli military has carried out numerous strikes in Syria to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah and thwart Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily there.
Israel and Hezbollah last engaged in a major direct conflict in the summer of 2006.