The Syrian government has condemned US President Donald Trump's statement that it was time to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and said Syria was determined to recover the area "through all available means".
In a statement published by the Syrian state news agency, a foreign ministry source said the statement showed "the blind bias of the United States" towards Israel.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
The statements did not change "the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab," it said.
"The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means," the statement said.
The disputed area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.
Mr Trump's comments yesterday marked a dramatic shift in US policy and gave a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign.
Mr Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognise its claim and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Mr Trump in February 2017.
"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!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.
Mr Trump's move appeared to be his most overt yet to help Mr Netanyahu, who is locked in a closely contested race in the 9 April election while also fighting allegations of corruption, which he denies.
Mr Netanyahu arrives in Washington next week to meet with Mr Trumpand address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, lobbying group.
Mr Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network's 'Mornings with Maria' that he did not intend his move as an explicit election boost for Mr Netanyahu.
"I hear he's doing okay. I don't know if he’s doing great right now, but I hear he's doing okay. But I would imagine the other side, whoever's against him, is also in favour of what I just did," Mr Trump said.
Here, the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Defence has said he does not believe Mr Trump's comments about the Golan Heights will create instability in the region.
Paul Kehoe made the remarks today as he carried out the ministerial review of 130 Irish troops at the Curragh Camp in Co Kildare, ahead of their deployment to the Golan Heights later this week.