Russia, Iran and Turkey condemn US president while Syria vows to recapture territory lost in 1967 war
Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trumps call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey and Iran.
The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war with a tweet on Thursday that said it was time to fully recognise Israels sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Trump said the territory was of critical strategic and security importance to the state of Israel and regional stability.
Israeli troops took control of the volcanic plateau from Syria in the six-day war in 1967 and later annexed it, moves that were condemned by the UN security council and never internationally recognised.
Syrian state media said on Friday that the country was now more determined to liberate it by all possible means no matter what, citing a foreign ministry source. Damascus said Trumps statement showed the blind bias of the United States towards Israel but would not change the fact that the Golan was and will always be a Syrian Arab territory.
Syrias allies Russia and Iran also lambasted Washington. Iran said the announcement was illegal and unacceptable, and Russia pointed out that a change of the status of the Golan Heights would be a direct violation of UN resolutions.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters the comments can destabilise the already fragile situation in the Middle East.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, warned on Friday that Trumps unfortunate declaration had brought the region to the brink of a new crisis and new tensions.
We will never allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights, he said.
European powers also warned of the potential damage to international order.
The French foreign ministry said: The recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan, occupied territory, would be contrary to international law, in particular the obligation for states not to recognise an illegal situation.
Germanys government condemned what it said were unilateral steps. If national borders should be changed it must be done through peaceful means between all those involved, spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said.
In the decades since its capture, Israel has conducted negotiations with Syria to reach a peaceful solution over the Golan, without success. Syria failed to retake the region by force in 1973 and the two countries signed an armistice a year later.
In 2000, Syrias then president, Hafez al-Assad turned down a deal after Israel refused to give him back access to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, at the base of the Golan Heights. Both sides covet the areas water resources.