Ending the occupation of the Golan Heights is a ’top priority’ for Damascus, Faisal Mekdad has said
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad © Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Damascus is fully prepared to defend its territory in a potential military conflict with Israel, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said on Sunday as the regional crisis continues.
Mekdad was speaking at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Damascus, where they discussed joint support for Palestinians during Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.
Mekdad said that Syria “has been resisting” Israel since 1948, when the first full-blown war broke out between several Arab nations and the newly established Jewish state.
“Syria has fought wars against the Israeli occupation, and is ready to fight wars, but it will decide when and how,” the foreign minister stressed, noting the importance of the Golan Heights – a part of southwestern Syria controlled by Israel since 1967.
Ending the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights is “at the top of our priorities,” Makded insisted, adding that “Syria is ready to pay the price for all these liberation operations.”
Syria’s top diplomat stressed that the presence of US and Turkish forces in the country is also “illegitimate” and must come to an end.
Amir-Abdollahian went on to condemn the “illegal presence of foreign troops in Syria,” and accused the US and Israel of committing “genocide” against the Palestinians.
The US conducted airstrikes in Syria this month in response to rocket and drone attacks on American bases in the region.
The Pentagon said that it was targeting Iran-linked militant groups that were behind the January 28 bombing of an outpost in Jordan known as Tower 22, where three American soldiers were killed. Syria has condemned the strikes on its territory as “illegal” under international law.