Israel fills vacuum in terror fight as U.S. reduces troop levels

CAIRO — Israel is moving quickly to fill a security vacuum in Africa as the United States reassigns forces from the terror-plagued continent to focus on rivals such as China and Russia.

President Idriss Deby of the central African nation of Chad paid a visit late last month to Jerusalem, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear Israel’s eagerness to join the fierce wars against al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Arab nations are watching nervously as Israel expands its influence and military footprint, and jihadi groups in the region are pointing to Israel’s involvement as a recruiting tool and reason to escalate the struggle.

“Chad is a very important country,” Mr. Netanyahu told Mr. Deby in his welcoming remarks. “It’s an important country in Africa. It’s an important country for Israel.”

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