The United Nations envoy to Damascus has said that 21 UN peacekeepers captured by Syrian rebels and held for three days in a southern Syrian village have entered Jordan, according to the Associated Press.
The UN says arrangements for the release of 21 peacekeepers being held by Syrian rebels were made but were called off because the conditions deemed unsafe due to the "late hour and darkness".
Efforts to secure their release will continue tomorrow, according to Reuters.
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.
BREAKING NEWS EXCLUSIVE: #Syria’s Opposition President tells me U.N. Peacekeepers safe and sound and will be released...
... Moaz al-Khatib says U.N. Peacekeepers were not kidnapped, but according to him were removed from the battlefield for their own safety.
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.
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.
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:
– syrian observatory for human rights
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.
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.
#BREAKING: Al-Yarmouk Brigades accused the UN observers of "helping government forces to redeploy in areas that was under rebels' control"
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.
The United Nations has said that about 20 of its peacekeepers have been detained by 30 armed men, the Associated Press reports.
The United Nations has announced it is sending a team to help with the release of around 20 peacekeepers detained in the Golan Heights.