Syria slams Trump, vows to recover Israeli-occupied Golan

Syria slams Trump, vows to recover Israeli-occupied Golan

BEIRUT: Damascus condemned on Friday US President Donald Trump’s statement that it was time to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, vowing Syria would recover the area using “all available means.”
Syria’s allies Russia and Iran also upbraided Trump for the comment he made on Thursday, which marks a dramatic shift in US policy over the status of a disputed area that was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 — a move not recognized internationally.
Syrian state news agency cited a foreign ministry source on Friday as saying Trump’s statement showed “the blind bias of the United States” toward Israel.
It did not change “the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab,” the source said.
“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the source said, adding that Trump’s statement was “irresponsible” and showed “contempt” for international law.
Iran said the statement was illegal and unacceptable, and Russia said a change in the status of the Golan Heights would be a direct violation of UN resolutions.
“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday.
Both Iran and Russia have deployed forces into Syria in support of President Bashar Assad during the Syrian conflict, with Iran sending both its own forces and also backing regional Shiite militias such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah that have helped Damascus.
“This illegal and unacceptable recognition does not change the fact that it belongs to Syria,” an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman was cited as saying by state TV.
Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognize its claim and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017. Trump’s statement has given a boost to Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign.

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