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Article | Times of Israel |

US President Donald Trump's newly announced withdrawal of nearly all US troops from northern Syria has cemented Russia's status as the predominant global military power actively engaged in the Middle East.

This week, Russian troops arrived at military bases in northern Syria that the American army had hastily left just days earlier, in what can be regarded as both a literal and figurative handover of regional hegemony.

Many officials in Jerusalem are deeply worried about being abandoned by their superpower ally, as the American decision to gradually disengage from this part of the world -- which started under former US president Barack Obama -- threatens to embolden Israel's enemies: Iran and its allies and proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and elsewhere.

UN must renew its arms embargo against Iran, Pompeo says in Israel | JPost |

The United Nations Security Council must renew its arms embargo against Iran when it expires next year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while in Israel, as he warned of a new Middle East arms race.

"Because of the flawed Iran deal, the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year. Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons," Pompeo tweeted prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Friday. "The Iranian regime will be free to sell weapons to anyone. This will trigger a new arms race in the Middle East," he continued.

The Pompeo Netanyahu meeting lasted for two hours, after which the two men issued a few statements to the press. "It is always a joy to be with you Mr. Prime Minister. It is great to be back here in Israel. The remarkable close relationship between our two countries is as strong as it has ever been. President Trump of course said to send his regard to your as well," Pompeo said.

"We had a chance to talk this morning about all the challenges that the world faces and that Israel and the US face head on together as an important beacon of hope and democracy here in the Middle East," he said.

"The American people value this relationship. We talked about all the efforts we have made to push back against the threat not only to Israel but to the region and the world from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said.

"We shared our ideas about how we can ensure Middle East stability together and how we would further our efforts to jointly combat all the challenges that the world confronts here in the Middle East," the Secretary of State explained.

Pompeo to 'Post': Israel has right to act in Syria, U.S. will stop Iran | JPost |
Pompeo and Netanyahu meet as the U.S. seeks to assure Israel focus stays on Iran "threat" | Ynet News |

by Oui on Fri Oct 18th, 2019 at 06:54:22 PM EST

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