Trump orders CENTCOM to cover Occupied Palestine, calls UAE, Bahrain key ‘security partners’
Outgoing US President Donald Trump has ordered the country’s Central Command (CENTCOM) to coordinate military activities with the Israeli regime, while also designating Persian Gulf Arab kingdoms of Bahrain and the UAE as “major security partners” in his final days in office.
The move, first reported by the Wall Street Journal , follows a last-minute push by Trump to shore up a regional anti-Iran alliance and convince Arab dictators in West Asia to normalize ties with the hawkish Israeli regime as Washington intends to focus more on countering major military and economic rival China in the coming years.
According to Press TV, the Occupied Palestine had previously fallen under the area of responsibility of the US European Command (EUCOM) out of diplomatic deference to the political sensitivities of US-sponsored Arab regimes, many of which have long refused to publicly recognize the Tel Aviv regime until a “political solution” is reached for the status of Palestine.
“The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in West Asia,” the Pentagon claimed in a Friday statement.
“Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our US Central Command partners while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies,” it further read.
The oil-rich Persian Gulf kingdoms of UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain have signed formal agreements recognizing the anti-Palestinian Israeli regime – under the so-called Abraham Accords -- while the restive North African states of Sudan and Morocco have so far signaled openness to doing so under intense US pressure.
The Trump administration has offered significant incentives for the agreements, including debt relief for Sudan and advanced weapons sales to the despotic rulers of the UAE and Morocco.
The bid to include the Israeli-occupied Palestine in CENTCOM's region was not a last-minute decision and has been frequently discussed by senior US military officials in recent years, according to a former senior official cited by Al-Monitor in a Friday report.