Syria

U.S. to use summit in Jerusalem to press Russia on Iranian presence in Syria

John Bolton shaking hands with Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with national security adviser John Bolton. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

A senior White House official said in a conference call with reporters that the U.S. plans to stress to Russia during its trilateral national security advisers summit in Jerusalem this month that Iranian forces and their proxies have to leave Syria.

Why it matters: The trilateral meeting between the national security advisers of Israel, the U.S. and Russia in late June is an unprecedented event. The White House official said the main focus of the summit will be Syria and Iran's activities in Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the region.

U.S. tells Russia it backs Israeli airstrikes in Syria as long as Iran stays

Putin
Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

The Trump administration has made it clear to the Kremlin that the U.S. fully supports Israeli airstrikes in Syria while Iranian forces, Hezbollah and pro-Iranian militias are still operating in the country, a senior U.S. official told me.

Why it matters: Israel airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria continue every other week. Last night, a rocket was fired from Syria and landed in an Israeli military base on the border with Syria in the northern part of the Golan Heights. Israeli intelligence services think it was likely fired by pro-Iranian militia in Syria, and the Israeli air force retaliated against Syrian military bases. According to reports, three Syrian soldiers and seven non-Syrian militiamen were killed.