Trump: Israel Does ‘Good Job’ Of Protecting Itself From Syria — With U.S. Aid
(JTA) — Israel does a fine job of defending itself thanks to aid from the United States, and will be “good” after U.S. troops leave Syria, President Trump said.
“I spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I told Bibi, you know we give Israel 4.5 billion dollars a year. And they are doing very well at defending themselves,” Trump told reporters Wednesday after a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Iraq.
“I’m the one that moved the embassy to Jerusalem. I was the one who was willing to do that. So that’s the way it is – we are going to take great care of Israel. Israel is going to be good. We give Israel 4.5 billion a year. And we give frankly a lot more than that if you look at the books. They’ve been doing a good job,” he also said.
Trump launched a full and accelerated pullout of the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria last week, confirming the news in a tweet in which he wrote: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
The pullout leaves an opportunity for Iran to exert more influence over a Syrian regime locked in a civil war, and to take up a position on Israel’s northern border.