400 Congress members urge Trump: Safeguard Israel during Syria exit

“With the region in flux, it remains critical that we reiterate to both friend and foe in the region that we continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” the Congress members wrote.

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA
May 21, 2019 09:25
1 minute read.
Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry the national flag as they ride on motorcycle

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad carry the national flag as they ride on motorcycles in Qusair, Syria after the Syrian army took control from rebel fighters, June 5, 2013. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED AZAKIR)

 
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WASHINGTON — Nearly 400 members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump calling on him to safeguard Israel’s interests with Syria’s civil war coming to an end.

The letter sent Monday from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate urged Trump to ensure that Israel has the support and materiel to maintain its qualitative military edge in the region.



It also wants economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia and Iran to retreat from their support for the Assad regime, and intensifying sanctions on Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist militia that is Iran’s ally.



“With the region in flux, it remains critical that we reiterate to both friend and foe in the region that we continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” it said.



The letter was spearheaded by the top foreign policy lawmakers in each chamber: Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, its ranking Republican; and Sens. James Risch, R-Idaho, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., its ranking Democrat.



The House and Senate combined have a total of 535 lawmakers.

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