Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has underscored US-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a US military pullback in Syria.
Pompeo and Netanyahu met in Jerusalem hours after Turkey agreed with the United States to pause its offensive on Kurdish forces in Syria.
Turkey launched its assault against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria last week after President Donald Trump pulled a US contingent out of the way, creating a new front in Syria’s eight-year war and prompting 200,000 civilians to take flight.
Israel sees Syria’s Kurds, once US allies, as a counterweight to Islamist insurgents in northern Syria.
It also worries its arch-foe Iran or local allies could fill the vacuum left by a disengaged United States.
The Kurds responded to the US withdrawal by inviting Syrian government forces, backed by Moscow and Tehran, into towns and cities in areas they control.