Kidnapping of Peacekeepers Unprecedented for Golan Heights Force

On Wednesday, Syrian rebels seized 21 Filipino members of a United Nations peacekeeping mission from a disputed demilitarized buffer zone between Israel and Syria that has been monitored by U.N. forces since 1974. The border zone in the Golan Heights had been largely unaffected by Syria’s uprising until now, and the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) has not experienced a similar incident in the decades since it was formed. The group claiming responsibility for the kidnapping said the peacekeepers would not be released until the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad withdrew from a nearby village where clashes occurred over […]

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