Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights have captured a convoy of UN trucks and are demanding that Bashar al-Assad’s forces to leave the area, James Miller of EA WorldView reports.Reuters reports the UN has confirmed that about 20 peacekeepers had been detained by around 30 armed fighters.
The Islamist “Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade” posted two videos in which one rebel demands the “withdrawal of forces of the regime of Bashar Assad from the outskirts of the village of Jamlah,” which lies a mile east of the ceasefire line with the Israeli Golan. “If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners.”
At least five unarmed UN observers can be seen sitting inside the trucks.
Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. In 1973 the UN Disengagement Observer Force Zone was established to end the Yom Kippur War and provide a buffer zone between the two countries.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On Monday Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, president of the UN security council for March, said that armed groups operating in a so-called area of separation were threatening the security situation between the two countries.
The Times of Israel reports that rebels uploaded videos showing them studying Isreal defence Force patrols along the border with Israel.
Israel warned the council that it could not be expected to “stand idle” as Syria’s civil war spills over. Last month it was considering creating a buffer zone reaching up to 10 miles from Golan into Syria to secure the 47-mile border against the threat of Islamic radicals in the area.
Miller notes that on Tuesday the same group published a video showing them executing a group of prisoners of war.
Here’s one of the videos (here’s the other):
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
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