Fighters detain UN peacekeepers

The United Nations says around 20 peacekeepers have been detained by armed fighters near Golan Heights.

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Report: Detained UN peacekeepers will be released

Syria's main opposition leader has said the 21 UN peacekeepers who were detained by armed fighters on the Syrian-Israeli border are safe and will be released, US news anchor Christiane Amanpour reports.

She tweeted that the head of Syria's main opposition bloc Moaz al-Khatib has said the peacekeepers were not kidnapped.

Human Rights Watch investigating rebel group

Human Rights Watch said it was investigating the same rebel group that claims it has captured UN peacekeepers for executing captured Syrian soldiers earlier this week.

Peter Bouckaert of the human rights monitoring group said it was investigating the involvement of the "Martyrs of Yarmouk" brigade in a video showing the execution of detained Syrian soldiers posted on the Internet yesterday.

Security Council demands release of UN peacekeepers

The UN Security Council has condemned the seizure of about 20 peacekeepers by armed fighters in the Golan Heights area and demanded their release.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin, this month's president of the 15-nation council, told reporters:

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the detention of a group of more than 20 peacekeepers ... by armed elements of the Syrian opposition.

Syrian village near Golan Heights has seen 'violent clashes'

A London-based violence monitoring group reports that Syrian forces and rebels have been struggling for control of the Syrian village of Jamla, close to where the UN peacekeepers were detained.

A statement on the group's website said:

The Syrian Observatory received a footage reporting that rebel fighters will not released [release the UN personnel] until regular forces withdraw from the area.

The Jamla village and its surrounding areas have witnessed violent clashes in the past couple of days.

Rebel fighters from several factions took hold of the Mortar division and several checkpoints in Jamla.

– syrian observatory for human rights


Report: Fighters accuse UN of helping Assad troops

The "Martyrs of Yarmouk" brigade accuses the United Nations of helping troops loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, according to a reporter for Radio Sawa.

Golan Heights regularly patrolled by UN peacekeepers

Golan Heights ('A') on the border between Israel and Syria Credit: Google Maps

The Golan Heights area, where some 20 UN personnel have reportedly been detained, is regularly patrolled by UN peacekeepers.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and the two countries are still technically at war.

Syrian troops are not allowed in the area of separation under a 1973 ceasefire formalised in 1974.

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