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White House spokesperson: Israel and the US share 'common goal' in Syria

When pressed about whether Donald Trump recorded his conversations with James Comey or others, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded: "The president has nothing further to add on that"
Mandel Ngan (AFP/File)
The July 9 truce includes the establishment of buffer zones on the Syrian-Israeli and Syrian-Jordanian borders

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pushed back against Israel's criticism of the ceasefire agreement in southern Syria, brokered with the consent of the US and Russia, Haaretz newspaper reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the ceasefire between Syria's Assad regime and the rebels, raising questions of rising tensions between the US and Israel.

According to Spicer, the US and Israel are interested in "preventing Iran from gaining a foothold" in Syria, Haaretz reported. Spicer was asked about the issue during the daily briefing for reporters in the White House. He did not respond when reporters inquired if there was any tension between Washington and Jerusalem.

It was Spicer's first press briefing in three weeks amid reports that he would soon be replaced as spokesman. The White House is currently barring cameras from the briefings.

In response to Netanyahu's criticism of the ceasefire, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and the United States will do all that they can to meet Israel's security needs in the framework of the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria.

The July 9 truce includes the establishment of buffer zones on the border between Syria and Israel and the border between Syria and Jordan.

The Russians held consultations with Israel regarding the agreement and took into account Israeli needs, Haaretz reported.

However, senior Israeli officials involved in negotiating the ceasefire agreement told Haaretz in recent days that after the cease-fire agreement reached Israel, it became clear that contrary to expectations in Jerusalem, the Americans and the Russians had barely taken into account Israel's positions.

After his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday, Netanyahu said that he opposed the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria because it solidifies Iran's presence in the country.

Iran has been a major supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the six year Syrian Civil War, along with supporting Lebanese militia group Hezbollah, a sworn enemy of Israel.

Netanyahu's remarks against one of the most significant agreements between Russia and the United States have made in Syria in recent months have exposed a bitter disagreement between Israel and the two superpowers. Until now, disagreements have been expressed through quiet diplomatic channels and not pu

According to Spicer, the US and Israel are interested in "preventing Iran from gaining a foothold" in Syria, and Spicer was asked about the issue during the daily briefing for reporters in the White House, and did not respond if there was any tension between Washington and Jerusalem.

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