Bashar Al-Assad
Bashar Al-AssadReuters

The US decision to withdraw its forces from Syria is problematic for Israel, Middle East expert Dr. David Bukay of the University of Haifa said on Thursday.

"Israel has made big mistakes in the past in supporting the fight against Assad. Seven years later, Assad has won in Syria thanks to Iran. He is now a pawn of the Iranians and Israel must understand that it will not succeed in removing Iran from Syria. The American presence in Syria has somewhat balanced the operational activity of the Iranian forces in Syria and now their departure is problematic for us," Bukay told Arutz Sheva.

The US decision was correct from an American perspective, he opined. "Today the wars are not against countries but against guerrilla forces and must be fought using a different strategy.”

"We have seen in the past that the American presence in Iraq only harmed the US. Therefore, the American army really has nothing to look for in Syria, and this is a wise decision, provided they reach an agreement with the Turks that they will not harm the Kurds."

At the same time, Bukay said he thinks President Donald Trump's statement that the United States has defeated the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization was pretentious.

"They also said they eliminated Al-Qaeda but they are alive and well. The pretension of saying ‘I won’ isn’t serious. Maybe if he had said that the United States removed ISIS from Syria, that’s maybe 90% true, but to say that they were defeated is not serious."