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IPFS News Link • Syria

Syrian rebels seize UN peacekeepers in Golan (+video)

• Christian Science Monitor

BEIRUT, Lebanon

A convoy of United Nations military observers has been seized by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, according to a video posted on YouTube today.

Claiming to belong to the “Martyrs of Yarmouk”, the rebels warn that they will treat the UN soldiers as prisoners unless forces loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad withdraw from the village of Jamlah, a mile east of the ceasefire line with Israel

"We demand from the US, the UN and the Security Council the complete withdrawal of the troops of Bashar al-Assad to release those captives… If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners," said a young man who identified himself as Abu Kayed al-Fahel standing beside white-painted UN vehicles and speaking to the camera. He accused the UN troops of collaborating with Assad's forces to push the rebels out of Jamla.

The UN in New York confirmed that about 20 peacekeepers had been detained by some 30 armed men near the Golan.

“The UN observers were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near Observation Post 58, which had sustained damage and was evacuated this past weekend following heavy combat in close proximity,” the UN said in a statement.