File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
File photo of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel will protect itself: Netanyahu amidst US pull out from Syria

ANI | Updated: Dec 20, 2018 02:53 IST

Jerusalem [Israel], Dec 20 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that the nation will "protect itself" as US President Donald Trump indicated plans for pulling troops out from Syria.
"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," Trump had tweeted on Wednesday, after which a US Defence official told CNN that planning is underway to pull the 2,000-strong troops out of the country.
The President's statement attracted criticism from American media outlets and senior Republican Senators like Lindsey Graham who tweeted, "With all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there -- certainly not Afghanistan."
However, The Jerusalem Post reported Netanyahu as claiming that US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo had assured him that the US would retain influence in Syria.
The opposition in Israel has slammed Netanyahu for the US exit from the nation, labelling it as a "diplomatic failure" on the Prime Minister's part.
After the US announcement, it has been speculated that a lack of American troops in Syria will give rise to the influence of Russia and Iran in the region.
The US troops aligned with the Syrian Kurds to push back the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in Syria where fighting has been ongoing since 2011, according to Al Jazeera. Trump had, in April this year, claimed that he would "love" to get out of Syria at a joint conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron in the White House. (ANI)

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