US to press Russia for help countering Iranian militias in Syria

US to press Russia for help countering Iranian militias in Syria
A senior official in the Trump administration on Tuesday said that the US was going to tell Russia that Iranian militias should withdraw from Syria, and ask for Moscow’s suggestions on how to counter Tehran’s influence in the region.

US officials were going to make the request in talks between security advisers from Israel, Russia and the US at a summit in Jerusalem at the end of June, according a Channel 13 report.

The unnamed official said that the US supported Israel’s actions against Iranian entrenchment in Syria.

“We would hope to make the point in conjunction with the Israelis that we don’t see any positive role for the Iranians – and that would extend beyond Syria, to Lebanon, to Iraq, to Yemen – other places where they’re active,” the official said, according to a Reuters report.

He added that Washington was sure that the summit, with Israel hosting both Russia and the US in Jerusalem, would irk the Iranian leadership, and said that the fact that Russia's participating was a positive sign.

“The fact that the Russians see value in these conversations, that they’re willing to do it publicly, I think is in and of itself quite significant,” the official said.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev are scheduled to meet in Jerusalem later this month, according to an announcement made by the White House last week.

The rare tripartite meeting is expected to deal mostly with Syria, specifically Iran’s efforts to entrench itself militarily near Israel’s borders, and the planned withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn country.

Based on the Times of Israel 

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