Bolton Alongside Netanyahu: U.S. Syria Pullout Will Assure Israel's Security

Netanyahu stresses importance of the world recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights alongside Trump's national security adviser

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Prime Minister Netanyahu during a press conference in Jerusalem, January 6, 2019.
Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton guaranteed Sunday evening commitment to Israel's security in the shadow of U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

In a joint press conference held following a meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to impose sanctions on Iran and move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

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Netanyahu also mentioned the security situation in the north and stressed the importance of the world recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights.

Bolton reiterated the U.S.'s commitment to Israel's security amid the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, saying that it would be done in such a way that guarantees the defeat of ISIS and to "ensure the security of Israel and other friends in the region" as well as those who fought along American troops against the Islamic State. Bolton made no comment on Iran.

Earlier Sunday Bolton said that the U.S. military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating ISIS and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States. 

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Bolton added that there is no timetable for the pull-out of American forces, but insisted it's not an unlimited commitment.

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Prime Minister Netanyahu meeting in Jerusalem, January 6, 2019.
Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Bolton's comments mark the first public confirmation the drawdown has been slowed, as Trump faced widespread criticism from allies and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a policy that was to have been conducted within weeks.

On Saturday, an unnamed U.S. official traveling alongside Bolton said some American troops could stay in southern Syria despite the pullout.

Last week it was reported that Netanyahu had asked Trump to ensure that the withdrawal be done gradually. According to a political source familiar with the details,  the U.S. president was "positively considering" the request.