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US to continue cooperation with Israel over Syria and Iran

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said that the United States plans to discuss its strategic cooperation plan with Israel to prevent Iranian supremacy in Syria and elsewhere in Middle East. Though the Trump administration has already decided to pull out its troops from Syria, both the nations are open to planning and escalating intelligence operations in Syria and elsewhere to block Iranian “aggression.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Mike Pompeo in the Brazil to discuss the ground plan for this strategic partnership to combat Iranian forces.

With regard to Trump’s decision, Pompeo said it “in no way changes anything that this administration is working on alongside Israel.”

He added, “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.”

Last month Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, claiming that Islamic State has been defeated and US military personnels were no longer required in the country. Trump, almost in a braggish manner, stated that he had honoured his promise of bringing the troops back home.

Trump’s decision was highly criticised by various international leaders, US lawmakers and its top security aides. They believed that this move would lead encourage IS in its terror pursuits. As a mark of opposition to Trump’s decision, Jim Mattis resigned as defense secretary.

Netanyahu, who along with Pompeo was invited to the Brazilian capital for the inauguration of Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president, said “We have a lot to discuss.”

He said, “We’re going to be discussing our plan, 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.”

Netanyahu said Israel valued US’ “strong … unequivocal support” that it extended towards Israel’s “efforts at self defense against Syria” in the past few days.

In response to trump’s declaration of troop withdrawal, Netanyahu said Israel fears the spread of Iran’s influence in the Middle East, and hence would fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria irrespective of the pull out

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