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Israel is influencing US policy on Syrian withdrawal, senior official says

A senior Israeli official tells reporters that “Israel received almost everything it wanted” during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting yesterday in Brasilia with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“The prime minister left the meeting with a feeling that Israel has influence in certain areas (on US policy) and that Israel and the United States are working on various ideas regarding Syria that will help Israel,” the official says.

Netanyahu said ahead of the meeting that he had asked to Trump to carry out the US withdrawal from Syria gradually rather than all at once.

The official says that “Israel had 8 requests — 7 of where were answered” by Pompeo.

The lone issue still to be worked out between the parties is Israel’s sale of aging F-16 fighter jets to Croatia. The Trump administration is said to be angry that Israel added Israeli-made electronic systems to the F-16s as part of efforts to convince Croatia to buy the planes.

The US is said to believe Israel unfairly profited through its actions, as the F16s are American-made and were not supposed to be sold to a third party without its approval.

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