Gen. Mark A. Welsh, chief of staff of the US Air Force, completed a secretive
week-long visit to Israel in recent days.
This ahead of the expected
arrival of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, due
here on Monday.
News of Welsh’s arrival was broken by Walla and
independently confirmed by The Jerusalem Post; few details were
Welsh visited as a guest of Israel Air Force chief Maj.- Gen.
According to Walla, the visit was kept secret due to an
American request for confidentiality, in light of regional tensions and against
the background of Israeli threats to strike Iran if it continues developing its
The report added that the visit, Welsh’s first to
Israel, was highly productive and produced “new channels of
Dempsey, who is to arrive as a guest of IDF Chief of
General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, is expected to discuss developments in Iran,
Syria and Egypt with Israeli leaders.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
has signaled that Israel’s patience is running out over Tehran’s nuclear
Dempsey might use the visit to gauge Israeli intentions, and to
try to convince Israel to refrain from dramatic decisions in the near future, to
give diplomacy with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani a chance.
instability in Syria, its chemical-weapons arsenal, and the growing radical
jihadi presence in the country will likely form another top-priority point for
discussions during the visit.