Oct. 18 (UPI) -- After visiting Turkey in a successful effort to attain a cease-fire in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Friday.
The allied leaders turned their focus to Iran, which has supported the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.
"We talked about all the ways we can push back against the threat, not only to Israel, but to the region and world from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo said at the end of a two-hour meeting with Netanyahu.
The Israeli leader said the Middle East faces "various challenges" that can be weathered with a stronger bond between Jerusalem and Washington, D.C.
"The Middle East is a sea of troubles and turbulence, but if there's one thing that stands out it's the durability, stability and strength of the American-Israel alliance," Netanyahu said.
Pompeo said Friday's meeting was "productive" in countering the Iranian regime's "malign influence" and "regional developments and other issues related to Israel's security."
Like many world leaders, Netanyahu condemned Turkey's military incursion into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria and applauded the U.S.-brokered cease-fire that was agreed to Thursday. The Trump administration also denounced the offensive, although critics say the president invited the fighting when he removed U.S. troops from Syria last week.
Netanyahu, however, is concerned the removal of American forces in Syria could lead to a resurgence of terrorists and a geopolitical advantage for Tehran.
"[He is] very concerned about not only [the Islamic State] coming back, but Iran being the biggest winner of the vacuum we created," South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spoke to Netanyahu by phone, said Thursday.
Pompeo was scheduled to travel to Belgium later Friday to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the North Atlantic Council.