Mike Pompeo to visit Israel to talk about Syria in aftermath of US troop withdrawal


(JTA) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will arrive in Jerusalem on Thursday to discuss the situation in northern Syria following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw troops from the area and the ensuing Turkish invasion there.

The scheduled visit was reported by Barak Ravid, a correspondent for Israel’s Channel 13.

The U.S. withdrawal and the Turkish invasion set off alarm bells in Jerusalem and prompted unusually broad condemnation of the president, including from leading congressional Republicans. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the invasion and offered assistance to the Kurds, U.S. allies in the fight against ISIS.

Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence are reportedly departing for Turkey on Wednesday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said initially that he would not meet them but later reversed himself.

The Trump administration has called for a cease-fire, but Erdogan has resisted those calls.

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