Skip to main content

Syria rejects US secretary of state's comments on Golan Heights

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a House of Representatives committee Monday that Israel "has control" over the territory.
Antony Blinken

The Syrian government criticized US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday for comments the diplomat made about the Golan Heights. 

Blinken spoke before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday. During the hearing, Blinken addressed the US view on the status of the Golan Heights. Israel captured the Golan from Syria during the June 1967 war and remains in control of the territory. Most of the international community recognizes the Golan Heights as Syrian territory occupied by Israel. In 2019, US President Donald Trump recognized Israeli sovereignty over the heights.

US President Joe Biden has not changed US recognition of Israeli sovereignty since taking office in January. Blinken appeared to confirm US policy remains the same Monday, saying the United States accepts that Israel controls the Golan regardless of legality. 

“As a practical matter, Israel has control of the Golan Heights, irrespective of its legal status, and that will have to remain unless and until things get to a point where Syria and everything operating out from Syria no longer poses a threat to Israel, and we are not anywhere near that,” he said

The Syrian Foreign Ministry rebuked the secretary Wednesday in response. 

"The US former administration’s decision on recognizing that annexation is nothing but an additional indication to the US flagrant violation of the international legitimacy and its conventions,” a ministry official told the Syrian state SANA news outlet. 

Blinken made similar remarks on the Golan in February. 

Syria and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. Israel regularly carries out airstrikes against Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah military targets in Syria. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial