Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Pompeo: Trump Admin Will Leverage Aid To Syria To Remove Iranian Troops

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration’s goal is to remove Iran and its proxies from Syria, and it will use assistance to Syria as an incentive to do so.

That formula is likely to disappoint Israel, where security and government officials have held out for a more forceful U.S. role in evicting Iran and Hezbollah, its allied Lebanese militia, from Syria after seven years of civil war. Iran and Hezbollah backed the Assad regime in repressing the uprising, costing as many as 500,000 lives and creating millions of refugees.

Pompeo told the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs at its annual conference on Wednesday that a Trump administration goal was a “peaceful resolution to the Syria conflict and a removal of all Iranian and Iranian backed forces in Syria.”

“If Syria does not ensure the total withdrawal of Iranian troops it will not receive one single dollar for reconstruction,” he said.

Syria’s government has not received any money from the United States for years if not decades, instead relying for assistance on Iran and Russia, so it’s not clear what leverage U.S. assistance would provide.

Pompeo’s statement suggests that the Trump administration has eschewed for now a military effort to oust Iran’s forces, or even exerting pressure on Russia, the preeminent power in Syria, to force out Iran and Hezbollah. Russia has indicated that it will go no further than keeping Iranian troops 60 miles from Syria’s southwest border with Israel. Israel has said that a continued Iranian presence in Syria is unacceptable.

Pompeo said the United States would defend Israel’s right to act in Syria to contain Iran. “We’ll stand up for its right to target Iranian backed targets in Syria,” he said.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.