Syria Militants Abduct UN Peacekeepers in Golan, Israel Concerned , UNSC CONDEMNS




Local Editor
 
Gunmen in Syria seized on Wednesday seized 21 UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights ceasefire zone between Syria and the Zionist entity.
UN peacekeeping mission
UN officials said on Thursday negotiation with the militants were under way in order to free the peacekeepers, who are from the Philippines, diplomats said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for their “immediate” release and demanded the Syrian government and the armed opposition respect their “freedom of movement and security”.

The UN said it was trying to negotiate the release of the soldiers, while an opposition spokesman said the troops would be held until Assad’s forces pull back from a Golan village.

Officials in Manila urged the troops, who are part of a 300-strong Filipino peacekeeping unit, to be released immediately.

Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who read the Security Council statement on the situation, said the opposition have made demands directed at the Syrian government, but gave no details.

The United Nations has reported a growing number of incidents in the Golan over the past year. It has sent extra armored vehicles and communications equipment to reinforce security for the mission.

For its part, “Israel” expressed its concern on Thursday that the UN woul pullout its peacekeeping force from the Golan after the incident.

AFP quoted an “Israeli” official as saying that “this kidnapping is likely to convince countries who participate in this force to bring their troops home, which would undoubtedly create a dangerous vacuum in no man’s land on the Golan.”

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that “since its creation, this force has fulfilled its mission which was to keep the peace.”

AFP said that the Zionist entity now “fears that the departure of UNDOF troops could leave a vacuum in the ceasefire zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights, leaving it open to infiltration by hardliner militant groups.”
   




Source: Agencies
07-03-2013 – 09:35 Last updated 07-03-2013 – 13:17 |


UNSC CONDEMNS SEIZURE OF PEACEKEEPERS IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

Posted on March 6, 2013 by
Russian Ambassador to the UN and Security Council President Vitaly Churkin
Russian Ambassador to the UN and Security Council President Vitaly Churkin

The United Nations Security Council has strongly condemned the seizure of the UN peacekeepers in the occupied Golan Heights by foreign-backed Syrian militants.

The 15-nation council condemned the Syrian militants in a statement issued on Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the UN and Security Council President Vitaly Churkin told a press conference in New York.

“The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the detention of a group of more than 20 peacekeepers of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force [UNDOF] within the area of limitation east of the B-Line earlier today by armed elements of the Syrian opposition,” Churkin said.

“The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained U.N. peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and ensure full security of its personnel,” he added.

“My understanding is that they took over the trucks in which the UNDOF personnel was [sic] moving around,” Churkin said.

Earlier in the day, the foreign-back militants detained the UN peacekeepers in the occupied Golan Heights.

According to Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the peacekeepers were stopped and detained by approximately 30 armed militants.

“The UN observers were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near observation post 58… The mission is dispatching a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution,” he said.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

In addition, several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored militants of committing war crimes.

In an interview broadcast on German television, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the government did not start the conflict and the militant groups were the ones killing Syrian citizens and destroying the country’s infrastructure.


River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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