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August 28, 2014 9:09 am

UN Peacekeepers ‘Detained’ by Syrian Rebels at Israel-Syria Border

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The Israel-Syria border's Quneitra crossing. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The United Nations said 43 peacekeepers were “detained” by rebels at the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights amid fighting in the area.

“During a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation in the Golan Heights, 43 peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were detained early this morning by an armed group in the vicinity of Quneitra,” the U.N. press office said in a statement.

A coalition of Syrian rebel groups, including the jihadist al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra, seized control of the Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria from the Syrian government in heavy fighting.

UNDOF peacekeepers have served in the region since the 1974 disengagement accord between Syria and Israel following the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Until the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the Israel-Syria border has been mostly quiet. Currently, there are 1,223 peacekeepers from six countries serving in the region.

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