Israel should not be constrained by international borders or laws if it feels under threat, and can always rely on US support, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said following his meeting with the Israeli PM and the chief of Mossad.
The US administration has always been “very clear” that it gives Israel a free rein in hunting down any purported sprouts of ‘Iranian threat’ in the region, using national security as an ultimate excuse, Pompeo said in an interview with Jerusalem Post.
Israel has the fundamental right to engage in activity that ensures the security of its people. It’s at the very core of what nation-states not only have the right to do, but an obligation to do.
The withdrawal of American troops from Syria raised some concerns in Tel Aviv, but Pompeo rushed to emphasize that the US remains committed to “continuing that activity that the US has been engaged in now for a couple of years.”
We know this is a corner where Iran has attempted to move weapon systems across into Syria, into Lebanon, that threatens Israel, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure we have the capacity to identify those so that we can, collectively, respond appropriately.
Pompeo visited Israel following his urgent trip to Turkey, where he convinced President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to temporarily halt the cross-border operation in Syria, somewhat allowing the Trump administration to save its face after the ‘betrayal’ of its Kurdish allies.
In Tel Aviv, Pompeo held a meeting with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, apparently reassuring them that the US withdrawal wasn’t a sign of weakness or intention to reduce its pressure on Tehran.