Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday warned that if Israel does not negotiate away the Golan Heights, his nation may turn to more violent methods of reclaiming the territory it once controlled.
Speaking at an Islamic economic summit in Istanbul, Assad claimed to still want to reach a peace agreement with Israel, but said that if such an agreement is not based on Israel full surrender of the Golan, then "resistance" is an option he is seriously considering.
It was not the first time Assad has threatened war should Israel not meet his precondition for peace talks by guaranteeing a full Israeli pullout from the Golan.
Israel captured the Golan during the 1967 Six Day War after Syria had used it during the previous 19 years as a launching pad for repeated invasions of and attacks on the Jewish state. In the run-up to the Six Day War, the Syrian army had massed on the Golan in preparation for yet another invasion.
In 1982, Israel officially annexed the Golan returning the territory to the lands originally promised to the Jews by League of Nations, the forerunner to the UN.
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