Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that if Israel does not limit its ties with China, the U.S. could reduce intelligence sharing and security cooperation.
This step is both symbolic and significant. The change in language in the report is not a recognition of Israeli sovereignty, but is a clear signal in that direction.
If Israel didn't reject the Russian proposal, it might have been able to ensure that any U.S. decision to pull out of Syria would be part of a deal on the Iranian presence in the country — not merely a unilateral move.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a closed hearing on Monday that Russia recently proposed to Israel and the U.S. that Iran be granted relief from some U.S. sanctions in return for the removal of Iranian forces and proxies from Syria.