U.S. Sends a Top General to Israel Amid Fears of Iranian Strikes

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The United States on Thursday dispatched to Israel its top military commander for the Middle East, after President Biden stated that despite recent friction, American support for Israel “is ironclad” in the event of an attack by Iran.

Iran’s leaders have repeatedly vowed to punish Israel for an April 1 strike in Syria that killed several senior Iranian commanders. Israel has put its military on alert, and Mr. Biden said on Wednesday that Iran was threatening a “significant” attack.

Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, the American commander, will coordinate with Israel on what is widely expected to be imminent retaliatory action by Iran, as well as discuss the war against Hamas in Gaza and humanitarian aid operations there, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel acknowledged on Thursday that Israel was facing “challenging times,” noting that “in the midst of the war in Gaza” his country was “also prepared for scenarios involving challenges in other sectors.”

“We have determined a simple rule: Whoever harms us, we will harm them,” he said while visiting an air base, using language that in recent days has been used to refer to threats from Iran and its proxies, including Hamas.

Gen. Michael E. Kurilla, wearing a beret, during a visit to Israel in January last year, with Yoav Galant, the Israeli defense minister, to his right.Credit…Abir Sultan/EPA, via Shutterstock

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