Syrian Rebels Kidnap 20 UN Peacekeepers
The UN has confirmed that 20 peacekeepers have been captured near the Golan heights by armed Syrian rebel fighters who call themselves the “Martyrs of Yarmouk” brigade.
“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, at Al Jamlah,” the United Nations said in a statement. The UN has since sent a team in to assist with the resolving the situation.
The brigade seized the soldiers who were stationed in the buffer zone between Israel and Syria on Wednesday evening and warned that if they was no response to their demands within 24 hours, they would treat the peacekeepers as hostages.
The “Yarmouk” rebels are demanding that Syrian president Bashar Assad’s forces retreat from a strategic area near the village of Jamlah in return for the release of the convoy. In a video that was posted online, a member of the brigade accuses the UN forces of collaborating with Assad’s forces to push the rebels out of Jamlah.