News World Syria vows to recover Golan as Trump policy shift draws criticism

Syria vows to recover Golan as Trump policy shift draws criticism

The Syrian government vowed to recover the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Friday as its allies and enemies alike condemned U.S. President Donald Trump for moving to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory seized in war.

Trump’s statement on Thursday marked a dramatic shift in U.S. policy over the status of a disputed area that Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 – a move not recognized internationally.

Russia and Iran, military allies of Damascus, condemned the shift towards recognition – comments which the Syrian government said showed Washington’s “blind” pro-Israeli bias.

“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the Syrian state news agency cited an official source as saying.

The Golan Heights would remain “Syrian, Arab”, it said, saying the statement showed contempt for international law.

Turkey, a U.S.-allied state and an adversary of the Damascus government, also criticised the move, saying it had brought the Middle East to the edge of a new crisis and the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights could not be allowed.

“U.S. President Trump’s unfortunate statement yesterday has brought the region to the brink of a new crisis,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said.

Iran said the U.S. position was illegal and unacceptable, and Russia said a change in the status of the Golan Heights would be a direct violation of U.N. resolutions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is touring the region, is due in Beirut on Friday where he will he will meet political allies of the powerful, Iran-backed Hezbollah, including President Michel Aoun.

Both Iran and Russia have deployed forces into Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian conflict, with Iran sending both its own forces and also backing regional Shi’ite 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.

In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Turkey’s Erdogan said: “we cannot allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights”.

The Arab League, which suspended Syria in 2011, said Trump’s comment paved “the way for official American recognition” of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the statements were “completely beyond international law”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 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.

Netanyahu has praised Trump for “making history” with the statement.

“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.

Trump’s move followed the U.S. recognition in December 2017 of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a decision that also drew international criticism as the disputed city’s status remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

(Reuters/Picture by David Stanley)

Top Stories

Eight new coronavirus cases detected out of 2,893 tests

The Ministry of Health has announced that 8 new cases of the SARS-CoV-II virus were detected in Cyprus over the past 24 hours out...

Omonia: 60 people to self-isolate due to covid case

Omonia's delegation, that travelled to Athens for the first match with Olympiakos in Faliro in the context of the Champions League playoffs (0-2 defeat),...

Two journalists stabbed near Charlie Hebdo’s old offices – France opens anti-terror probe

France opened an anti-terror investigation after two journalists were stabbed in Paris on Friday near the former offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine...

UK’s Tesco blocks bulk-buying of toilet roll and flour

Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco will prevent customers from bulk-buying flour, pasta, toilet rolls and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a re-run of the COVID-19 stockpiling...

COVID-19: Average age in Cyprus is 39 (tables)

Here are the infographics, by the Ministry of Health, with statistics on the course of the coronavirus until September 22nd. The average age in...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...