President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria and enable a Turkish military operation in the country raises many questions about long-term U.S policy in the Middle East and leaves Israel looking for a new ally: Russia
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that cooperation with Russia is now “critical” after Trump’s “erratic” decision to withdraw troops from Syria and allow a Turkish incursion there against Kurdish forces.
Netanyahu made the comments at a holiday toast with workers in his office, during which he relayed that he just had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu phoned Putin to wish him a happy birthday.
“I met with him a few weeks ago about issues that are important for the security of the State of Israel, and this conversation as well was important to Israel’s security,” he said, according to The Jerusalem Post. Though he did not provide details, the Netanyahu-Putin conversation is believed to have dealt with the changing dynamics in Syria resulting from the White House’s dramatic announcement on Sunday.
“We have great challenges around us, but we enjoy important cooperation and coordination with Russia, something that is critical for us, and which we will continue to deal with,” he said.