Damascus (Agencies): Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad declared that Damascus is fully prepared to defend its territory in a potential military confrontation with Israel. Speaking during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Damascus, they discussed joint support for Palestinians amid Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Since 1948, Syria has been in conflict with Israel, engaging in wars against the Israeli occupation. Mekdad emphasized that while Syria is ready for battle, it will strategically decide when and how to engage. The Golan Heights, a region in southwestern Syria controlled by Israel since 1967, remains a critical concern.

Ending the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights is Syria’s top priority, and the nation is willing to bear the cost of liberation efforts.

Additionally, Syria’s top diplomat criticized the illegitimate presence of US and Turkish forces within the country. Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian condemned the “illegal presence of foreign troops in Syria” and accused the US and Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinians.

Recently, the US conducted airstrikes in Syria in response to rocket and drone attacks on American bases. The Pentagon targeted Iran-linked militant groups responsible for the January 28 bombing of an outpost in Jordan, known as Tower 22, where three American soldiers lost their lives. Syria has denounced these strikes as “illegal” under international law.

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