Netanyahu: 'Important to Recognize Israel's Sovereignty Over Golan Heights'

British special forces soldiers seriously hurt by IS missile

National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters during his visit to Jerusalem that the US would not totally withdraw its troops from Syria until a deal with Turkey had been reached to protect the Kurds.

Standing next to USA national security adviser John Bolton before a working dinner in Jerusalem, Netanyahu says: "When you're there, you'll be able to understand perfectly why we'll never leave the Golan Heights, and why it's important that all countries recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights".

During talks in Israel on Sunday, Bolton said the USA withdrawal is "conditional" on assurances from Turkey it would not attack America's Kurdish allies.

Trump's abrupt decision to announce a US pullout left many questions open, chiefly whether Kurdish fighters who had been operating in northern Syria alongside USA forces would now be attacked by their long-time enemy, Turkey. Trump had faced widespread criticism from allies about his decision, announced in mid-December, that he was pulling all 2,000 USA troops from Syria.

The New York Times said in a report that the move to reverse course on Trump's promised swift withdrawal from Syria has picked up in recent days, even as Bolton worked to avoid openly confronting the president the way former defence secretary Jim Mattis did.

Even though the resolution still passed with 151 votes in favor, 14 abstentions and only two votes against it - from the United States and Israel itself - the move still was met with thunderous applause in Tel Aviv. "Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands", Netanyahu said at that time.

The reassurances followed a diplomatic storm caused by Trump's surprise announcement in December that appeared to signal a rapid withdrawal from Syria, where United States special forces play an important role in supporting local forces fighting IS. Erdogan has promised that his forces, along with their own allied Syrian fighters, will take up the anti-IS fight - a promise viewed with suspicion by critics who think Erdogan could attack the Kurds anew once the USA departs.

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Bolton is expected to meet with Turkish officials, including the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"We're pulling out of Syria", Trump said Sunday at the White House.

Analysts and military experts, who disagree with Mr Trump, have said the threat posed by Isis still remains.

He told reporters there was no timetable for a USA withdrawal from Syria but that there was not an unlimited commitment. As part of his announcement, Trump said the United States had "defeated ISIS" there - a claim that his advisers and political allies have disputed.

Bolton made the remarks in Jerusalem on a four-day trip to Israel and Turkey.

The force, which receives key support in the air and on the ground from the USA military, said in a statement that the militants were captured on December 30.

Bolton in September had said the USA would remain in Syria as long as Iranians were on the ground there. Mr. Trump himself, however, also toured the area in a previous visit.

The Kurds enjoy strongholds in northeastern Syria and southern Turkey and have been integral to USA ground-fighting efforts in Syria.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will begin a week-long tour of the Middle East created to reassure allies in the region.

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