The CIA chief has made an unexpected visit to Israel to meet senior political and military figures to discuss the deteriorating security situation in neighbouring Syria.

John Brennan, who took up his post two months ago, met the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, defence minister, Moshe Ya'alon, military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, and Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, according to reports in Israel media.