Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Moscow at the Kremlin. May 9, 2018

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “think carefully” before he makes any deals with Russia.

Graham tweeted his warning while Netanyahu was in Moscow Wednesday meeting with President Vladimir Putin about the Iranian military presence in Syria.

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The senator specifically advised Israel to be “very careful making agreements with Russia about Syria that affect U.S. interests,” saying that he “doesn’t trust Russia to police Iran or anyone else in Syria.”

He also said the U.S. must maintain a presence in Syria to ensure that the Islamic State terror group doesn’t return, and also to counter the influence from Russia as well as from Iran.

“Just to be clear: Without Iran/Hezbollah, Syria’s [President Bashar] Assad would not be in power and would not have the ability to slaughter almost a half-million Syrians,” Graham wrote in a follow-up tweet.

“Without Assad’s blessing, the flags of Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would not be on Israel’s front door. ISIS and other radical Sunni groups PRAY that Assad stays in power in Syria. That allows them to recruit members to their cause in perpetuity.

“Radical Sunni groups will say – correctly – that Assad is a proxy of Iran and the Ayatollah. It means the Syrian war never ends and ISIS comes back.”

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