Syrian Rebels Detain Twenty UN Peacekepers


0  Updated at 1:23 pm, March 6th, 2013 By: ABC Digital
Share This Story

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(JAMLAH, Syria) — Twenty U.N. peacekeepers on the Syrian side of Golan Heights have been detained by a group of armed rebel fighters, the United Nations said today.

A spokeswoman for Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a statement that the observers — reportedly from the Philippines — were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near an observation post that had been damaged during heavy fighting in the nearby village of Jamlah.

The U.N. convoy was taken by a group known as the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. The group says they will hold the observers until the Syrian army withdraws from the outskirts of Jamlah.

“If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners,” a rebel spokesman said in a video posted online. The rebels have not threatened to kill the U.N. observers, and for now are treating them “as guests in our village.”

“The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained U.N. peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel,” a U.N. spokesperson said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Stories You May Be Interested In:

‘Barbaric’: UN officials condemn Syria’s Aleppo bombardment

Evan McKirdy, Tim Hume and James Masters, CNN

Italy earthquake: Rescuers’ search for survivors as death toll hits 241

Barbie Latza Nadeau, Margot Haddad, Livia Borghese and Angela Dewan, CNN

Militants killed, hostages freed after ISIS attack on oil field in Iraq

Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN