On March 27, the U.S. said that Russia should pressure the Damascus government to withdraw its armed forces from the separation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
“The United States and this Council cannot accept Syria’s efforts to establish its presence in the area of separation as a new norm … Therefore, the United States calls on the Russian Federation to use its influence with the Assad regime to compel the Syrian forces to uphold their commitment to the disengagement of forces agreement and immediately withdraw from the area of separation,” U.S. diplomat Rodney Hunter told a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Golan Heights, according to Sputnik.
This new demand came three days after the U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The region was occupied by the Israeli military during the 1967 war.
The separation line between the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights and the Syrian governorate of al-Quneitra was established under the 1974 Israel-Syria Disengagement Agreement. A 1,000-strong U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was dispatched to monitor the line.
During the U.N. Security Council meeting, Hunter insisted that the UNDOF should remain in place despite the U.S. decision to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
“This announcement does not affect the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, nor do we believe it undermines UNDOF’s mandate in any way … UNDOF continues to have a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria, most importantly by ensuring that the area of separation is a buffer zone free from any military presence or activities other than those of UNDOF,” Hunter said, according to France 24.
Hunter’s remarks are an example of a typical U.S. hypocrisy. Washington rejects the U.N. resolution 497 which says that the Golan Heights are an occupied Syrian region and opposes to Russia-led de-escalation efforts in Syria, but jumps to support any agreement that could benefit Israel.