General Kurilla visits Israel
General Kurilla visits IsraelIDF Spokesperson's Unit

The senior US military commander in charge of the Middle East is expected to go to Israel Thursday to coordinate around a possible attack on Israel by Iran and its proxies, two Israeli officials told Barak Ravid of Axios on Wednesday.

The commander of the US military central command (CENTCOM), Gen. Erik Kurilla, is expected to meet senior IDF officials and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, according to the report.

The visit comes as Iranian officials have publicly threatened to retaliate against Israel for an attack in Syria last week that killed a top Iranian general.

Israeli officials say they are preparing for a possible, unprecedented direct attack against Israel from Iranian soil using ballistic missiles, drones and cruise missiles against Israeli targets.

In such a scenario, Israel will retaliate with its own direct attack against Iran, the officials said.

A US defense official said it was Department of Defense policy to "not discuss flag officer travel for operational security."

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday that Israel made a mistake by attacking the Iranian consulate in Damascus and killing the general.

"Israel must be punished and they will pay for their mistakes," he said.

Gallant responded during a visit to an Iron Dome missile defense unit in Israel and said that "whoever tries to attack us will be faced with strong defense and right after with strong response in his territory."

CBS News reported last week that the US has picked up intelligence on what an Iranian retaliatory strike might look like.

According to the report, the American intelligence indicates that Iran is planning a retaliatory attack that would include a swarm of Shaheed loitering drones and cruise missiles.

Another report in The New York Times cited two Iranian officials who said that Iran had placed all its armed forces on full high alert and a decision had been made that Iran must respond directly to the strike attributed to Israel in Damascus, in order to create deterrence.