Israel and US said to increase cooperation to combat Iranian drones

The United States and Israel reportedly held talks earlier this month on cooperation against unmanned Iranian drones, with which the Islamic Republic is believed to be arming Shiite militias and terrorist organizations in the region.

Building on an April agreement by the two counties’ national security advisers, an interagency working group dealing with the threat to Israel and other US allies from Iranian drones and precision-guided missiles convened for the first time three weeks ago, the Walla news site reported.

Quoting both senior US and Israeli officials involved in the talks, the report said  the American team was led by White House National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk and the Israeli team was headed by deputy national security adviser Reuven Ezer.

One idea reportedly raised in the meeting was establishing a “no-fly zone” in the Middle East for Iranian UAVs.

In May, Israel downed a drone it approached Israeli airspace near the northeastern city of Beit She’an, with then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu later saying it was made by Iran and launched by Iranian forces toward Israel from either Syria or Iraq. In a similar case in 2018, a drone was flown from Syria into northern Israel before it was shot down by an Israeli helicopter. In response, the IDF launched a wave of strikes on Iranian assets in Syria.

Israel has a waged a nearly decade-long bombing campaign in Syria aimed at thwarting Iran and allied militias, including Hezbollah, from setting up bases to attack the Jewish state, as well as the transfer of advanced arms from Iran to Hezbollah.

Sunday’s report comes days after the news site said that the US had increased military coordination with Israel and with a number of moderate Middle Eastern countries in an effort to counter the threat posed to the region by the Islamic Republic.

Read the complete article at: Times of Israel

Also Read: Netanyahu: Drone downed by IDF this week was armed, launched by Iran

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