Pompeo Reassures Israel that U.S. Has Its Support Despite Syria Pullout
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo affirmed Tuesday that the United States will continue to fully support the state of Israel even after U.S. troops end their mission in Syria.
President Donald Trump announced last month that the U.S. would bring the troops home, having accomplished the purpose they set out to achieve.
Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday in Brazil, the Washington Examiner reported. Both were attending the inauguration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
The removal of troops will not change American policy toward those who seek to harm Israel, Pompeo said.
“We will continue to fight ISIS and Iranian aggression,” he said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Pompeo said Trump’s plan to remove U.S. troops from Syria “in no way changes anything that this administration is working on alongside Israel.”
“The counter-ISIS campaign continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression continue and our commitment to Middle East stability and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made,” he said.
Pompeo promised that he and Netanyahu would ensure that as circumstances change, Israel will be protected.
“We will work closely together to make sure we get this right,” Pompeo said, according to the Times of Israel.
Pompeo also pledged U.S. support for Israel’s efforts against Hezbollah along the Lebanese-Israeli border, where terrorists have dug tunnels to infiltrate into Israel, prompting attacks from Israeli forces.
“We understand the threat that that violation of Israeli sovereignty presents to the region and the country, that threat from Iranian Hezbollah,” he said.
Pompeo later tweeted about the meeting.
“Delighted to see @IsraeliPM@Netanyahu in #Brazil. I affirmed the commitment of the Trump Administration and the American people to ensuring #Israel’s security; the United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is strong.”
Delighted to see @IsraeliPM @Netanyahu in #Brazil. I affirmed the commitment of the Trump Administration and the American people to ensuring #Israel‘s security; the United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself. The U.S.-Israeli alliance is strong. pic.twitter.com/VFr0bwrc9V
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) January 1, 2019
Netanyahu, who spoke prior to the meeting, said he and Pompeo would be “discussing our, the intense cooperation between Israel and the United States which will also deal with the questions following the decision, the American decision, on Syria and how to intensify even further our intelligence and operational cooperation in Syria and elsewhere to block Iranian aggression in the Middle East.”
“That’s a common aim, and I have to say that I’m also very appreciative of the support, strong support and unequivocal support that you and the president gave our efforts at self-defense against Syria and Hezbollah just in the last few days,” Netanyahu told Pompeo.
State Department spokesman Robert Palladino later said Pompeo and Netanyahu “discussed the unacceptable threat that regional aggression and provocation by Iran and its agents poses to Israeli and regional security.”
Pompeo also reiterated America’s commitment to Israel’s right to self-defense.
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