01:43 GMT +321 April 2019
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    Members of 5th Special Forces Group (A) conducting 50. Cal Weapons training during counter ISIS operations at Al Tanf Garrison in southern Syria.

    Trump: Israel Is ‘Doing Very Well Defending Themselves’ in Middle East

    CC0 / Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor / 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
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    US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he is not worried that withdrawing troops from Syria could endanger Israel, claiming the US’ military partner is capable of defending itself.

    Trump commented on the issue during his surprise visit to the Ayn al-Asad Airbase in Iraq while defending his decision to pull troops out of Syria, where they had been leading a coalition fighting the Daesh* terrorist group, the Times of Israel reported.

    “Well, I don’t see it. I spoke with Bibi,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I told Bibi. And, you know, we give Israel $4.5 billion a year. And they’re doing very well defending themselves, if you take a look.”

    READ MORE: US Pulling Troops Out of Syria Due to Failed MidEast Policy — Syrian Ambassador

    “We’re going to take good care of Israel. Israel is going to be good. But we give Israel $4.5 billion a year. And we give them, frankly, a lot more money than that, if you look at the books — a lot more money than that. And they’ve been doing a very good job for themselves,” he added, not specifying the origin of the $4.5 billion figure.

    The United States currently allocates $3.8 billion to Israel every year as part of a defence aid package which was previously agreed during Barack Obama’s administration. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) provides Israel with $38 billion over a 10-year period, including funding for the development of Israel’s missile interception programs.

    The US president also referred to his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as evidence of his commitment to Israel, noting that “nobody was willing to do that” although previous presidents “all said they will do it”.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries

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