Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged the removal of foreign troops as the key to Syria’s stability, in a break with former Israeli policy for Bashar Assad. Netanyahu noted that Israel had acted hundreds of times to stop Iran establishing a military presence in Syria, transferring weapons to Hizballah and setting up an anti-Israel front on the Golan. “We will hit hard against any attempt to attack us,” the prime minister said, , adding: “We will do everything to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.”
He spoke at the opening session in Jerusalem on Tuesday of the first meeting of the American, Russian and Israeli national security advisers – John Bolton, Nikolai Patrushev and Meir Ben-Shabbat. Patrushev welcomed Netanyahu’s proposal to remove foreign troops from Syria but urged more detailed discussion on implementation. Bolton slammed Iran as a source of terror and violence, whose provocative behavior against US assets is part of its threat to develop a nuclear weapon. The US official noted that while President Trump and imposed more sanctions, he has left the door open for talks. The prime minister thanked Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin for endorsing this historic event in Jerusalem and sending their top advisers.