EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The surprise announcement by US President Donald Trump to pull American forces out of Syria has led to concern that Iran can now complete its “land bridge” from Tehran to Beirut.
In responding to President Trump’s surprise announcement of a withdrawal of all US forces from Syria on Wednesday, Israeli PM Netanyahu issued a brief statement that contained two messages.
“This is, of course, an American decision,” he said, emphasizing that it is not Israel’s place to tell its senior partner where to deploy troops. This is an important message to send, as it shows respect for America’s internal decisions on the use of military force.
Officially, Israel must not play a part in the argument now raging between the American defense establishment and Trump.
At the same time, Netanyahu’s statement did not contain any praise for the decision. This reflects real concern on Israel’s part over how the American exit will affect the regional balance of power.