by Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin on his Twitter.com account, @YadinAmos, December 19, 2018 –
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin (pictured above, photo Twitter), Executive Director of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), former head of IDF Military Intelligence and director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.
The Major General tweeted the following:
Trump’s declaration on US forces withdrawal from Syria is a significant step, but there’s no reason to panic. 2000 US troops came to Syria to fight against ISIS and had no authorities to act against Iran.
Syria, Israel was and remains the only actor enforcing red lines on the Iranians.
Israel has always been defending itself, and seeks no foreign forces’ defense. Not even by our greatest friend and ally – the US.
The important role of America is to push Iran diplomatically (Pompeo’s 12 demands) and by sanctions, and it’s important they continue, effectively and determinately.
Driving this withdrawal decision are probably the President’s drive to decrease US presence and casualties, the US people’s fatigue from the nation’s long wars, but perhaps mainly what looks like a “grand deal” with Turkey.
The deal may including withdrawing the US protection of the Kurdish areas in northeast Syria, opening the door to Turkish military action there, blocking Turkey’s acquisition of Russian S400 air defense system and replacing it with $3.5 billion US Patriot system.
Trump’s decision embolden its rivals which are committed to the region on the long term: Russia, Iran, Assad and ISIS.
And more- allowing the F35 deal to move forward. It may also include lower Turkish profile on the Khashouqji, and possible steps on Fathullah Gulen, Erdogan’s nemesis staying in the US.
Trump’s statement came surprisingly, despite most of his advisors’ position. Such abrupt US turns, seen by many as betraying its Kurdish partners in the war on ISIS, undermines the US’ reputation and credibility.
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In summary, this step has an effect on Israel, but there is no reason for immediate or military concern.