By Raphael Ahren, Times of Israel—
The US administration’s planned complete withdrawal from Syria is bad news for Israel both militarily and diplomatically, experts said Wednesday, since it will be leaving a vacuum in the war-torn country that will very likely be filled by Iran.
While the US military had only some 2,000 troops in Syria, mostly in the eastern part of the country, and did not actively participate in Israel’s ongoing efforts to prevent the Islamic Republic from entrenching itself there, Iran, and its Russian allies, will likely interpret the American move as an admission of defeat and feel emboldened to act in Syria as they please.
“Until now, while physically present in Syria, the American contribution to Israel’s major struggle — to halt the Iranian war machine in Syria — was marginal to zero,” Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former national security adviser, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, soon after the shock US withdrawal was announced.
“The effect of this decision is primarily psychological and diplomatic: With this withdrawal, the US abandons Syria and leaves Israel alone. In those arenas, this is a very significant decision,” he said. Continue Reading….