John Bolton Says Any Country in Doubt of US Support for Israel’s Self-Defense ‘Better Think About it Again’

CNS News | 1/6/2019 | Staff
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(CNSNews.com) – National Security Advisor John Bolton, speaking in Jerusalem Sunday about Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, assured Israel of the administration’s unequivocal support for its right to defend itself.

“I would just say to any nation, whether in this region or not in this region, that has any doubt about America’s support for Israel’s self-defense,” Bolton said alongside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, “they’d better think about it again.”

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Bolton said the U.S. views a nation’s ability to defend itself as “the ultimate mark of sovereignty.”

“President Trump has said repeatedly that he backs Israel’s right to self-defense. He says it proudly and unequivocally.”

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Bolton’s comments make clear that the U.S. will not second guess Israel when it acts to counter what it perceives as significant security threats near its northern borders. And his reference to countries both in the region and elsewhere was likely intended as a message not just to Iran – Israel’s sworn foe and the most obvious threat – but also to its partners, including Russia.

Israel has long been concerned about threats posed by the presence of Iranian forces in Syria, and has carried out numerous airstrikes over recent years aimed at preventing them from further entrenching themselves, and especially from strengthening Hezbollah. The Iranian proxy is based in Lebanon but is also involved in the Syrian conflict, in support of the Assad regime.

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Hours before meeting with Bolton, Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel “will continue to act against the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria, including at present, and we will act against any element that undermines, or attempts to undermine, the security of Israel.”

Bolton’s visit to the region aims to allay allies’ worries about the pending departure of some 5,000 U.S. troops who have been helping Syrian Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS in the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNS News
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