Israeli Official: Trump’s Syria Pullout ‘Strengthens’ Erdogan

Israel's Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks to members of Ethiopia's Jewish community, during a visit to a synagogue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Sunday, April 22, 2018. Shaked visited the synagogue in a rare visit from the high office of Israel's government and her first trip to Africa. (AP Photo/Mulugeta Ayene)
AP/Mulugeta Ayene

The Times of Israel reports: In the latest expression of Israel’s concern over US President Donald Trump’s surprise announcement that he was pulling US troops from Syria, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Sunday warned the move “doesn’t help us,” but insisted Israel would still be capable of defending itself.

Shaked’s pro-settlement Jewish Home party has been openly supportive of Trump, especially after his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December and subsequent move of the US embassy to the capital in May. In an interview Sunday morning on Army Radio, she cautioned that the US withdrawal strengthened the “anti-Semitic war criminal” Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, but tried to tamp down concerns that it would hurt Israel’s security.

“It’s certainly not a good thing,” she said of Trump’s decision, but added, “The president of the United States, Donald Trump, is a great friend of Israel, and this administration is, I think, the friendliest administration there’s ever been.”

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