White House official: “To allow the Golan to be controlled by the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats.”
By World Israel News Staff
U.S. President Donald Trump’s proclamation to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is reportedly part of a greater strategy.
It is, in fact, “part of a larger effort by the White House to open new fronts in efforts to combat Iranian [terrorists] and terror proxies in the region,” reports he Washington Free Beacon.
A White House official tells the site that “to allow the Golan Heights to be controlled by the likes of the Syrian and Iranian regimes would turn a blind eye to the threats emanating from a Syrian regime that engages in atrocities and from Iran and terrorist actors, including Hezbollah, seeking to use the Golan Heights as a launching ground for attacks on Israel.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned of Iranian encroachment in Syria towards Israel’s border and its arming of terrorists. Netanyahu has even stepped over traditional protocol by acknowledging that Israel has been responsible for attacks in Syria aimed at sabotaging Iran’s actions.
Israel’s parliament passed a law in 1981 which extended the law of the Jewish State to the Golan, a territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
The area of the Golan Heights held by Israel is around 1,200 sq. km. (500 sq. mi.), according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
More important than the size is the strategic topography which allowed Syrian snipers and artillery to shoot from the plateau at Israeli farmers working their fields down below, prior to the 1967 conflict.
The war inside Syria since 2011 created a vacuum which allowed terror groups and the Iranian regime to enter, as well as Russia, which has played a pivotal role in overseeing the chaotic situation.
During the years of the Obama administration, Israeli officials believed that Washington was allowing Moscow to take a leading role inside Syria.
Netanyahu and Trump have worked together more closely, but the U.S. president’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria alarmed Israeli officials. Moves by Trump since then to temper the pullout have allayed some of the Israeli concerns.
The U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights is seen as a move which changes the strategic landscape in a way which benefits both American and Israeli interests.