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Israel PM Binyamin Netanyahu,Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at Israel-Greece-Cyprus summit on December 20, 2018.(Photo by: PMO)
Israel to increase its efforts against Iran in Syria, Netanyahu said
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
12/20/2018
“We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts, we will increase our efforts,” Netanyahu said.
Israel plans to increase its efforts again Iran in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said just one day after the United States announced its plan to pull its forces out of the war torn country.

“We will continue to act in Syria to prevent Iran’s effort to militarily entrench itself against us. We are not reducing our efforts, we will increase our efforts,” Netanyahu said.

“I know that we do so with the full support and backing of the US,” Netanyahu said.

The IDF will also continue to destroy the attack tunnels Hezbollah dug along the northern border, Netanyahu said.

“These tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. This is the Iranian web of aggression in the Middle East, which also terrorizes Europe and the entire world,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel continues its operation against the terror tunnels and will do so until its completion. As we speak we are employing means to neutralize these tunnels,” he said.

He spoke at the fifth Israel-Greece-Cyprus summit, which was held in Beersheba on Thursday.

Cypriote President Nicos Anastasias,Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and US Ambassador David Friedman attended the summit.

On Wednesday Netanyahu said he had received advanced warning of the  pullout in telephone conversations with US President Donald Trump on Monday, and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday.

Britain had been in discussion with U.S. President Donald Trump's administration for several days regarding his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman said on Thursday.

Trump tweeted that no one should be surprised by his decision.

“Getting out of Syria was no surprise. I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer. Russia, Iran, Syria & others are the local enemy of ISIS. We were doing there work. Time to come home & rebuild,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters in Moscow, that he supports Trump’s move but was skeptical.

"In terms of the withdrawal of U.S. troops, I don't know what this is about. The U.S. has had a presence in Afghanistan for 17 years, lets say? And almost every year it says that it is withdrawing troops from there. But they are still present there."

"We don't see any indication of U.S. withdrawing troops as of yet but I accept that it may be happening.

"Is the presence of American troops necessary here? I think not. And lets not forget that the presence of your troops is illegitimate. We are in Syria on its invitation.

"If the U.S. has decided to withdraw its contingent - that is correct,” Putin said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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