(January 18, 2019 / JNS) Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday, calling on him to implement a “comprehensive strategy” to combat Iran amid the administration’s planned withdrawal of American troops from Syria, in addition to officially recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Jewish Insider first reported this development.
In addition to calling for the United States to follow through on the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between it and Israel, with the former providing the latter $3.8 billion in security and defense assistance, Gottheimer wrote: “I also urge your Administration to adopt a comprehensive strategy to halt the march of Iranian-backed forces across the Middle East via a land bridge stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean, including right up to Israel’s border. Iranian forces must not be permitted to gain a foothold or permanent presence in Syria, or to help Hezbollah construct factories there to build precision-guided missiles with which to threaten our ally Israel.”
“In recent months, Iranian-backed militias fighting alongside [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s forces assailed rebels in southwestern Syria, bringing Shia militiamen within reach of the Golan and Israel,” he adds. “Given the state of present-day Syria and its foreseeable future, requiring Israel to cede control over this area would pose an unacceptable risk to our ally’s existence. The United States must make clear that we are committed to rolling back Iran’s presence in Syria and consider a range of measures, including recognition of the Golan, to protect our ally Israel from serious threats on its borders.”
Gottheimer joins Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced a resolution last month urging the United States to formally recognize Israeli control of the Golan Heights.