Syrian Rebels Kidnap UN Personnel In Golan Heights

  @MayaErgas on March 06 2013 2:17 PM
Syrian Mortars
Mortars fired from Syria during the clashes between the military forces and rebels hit the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa’s Akçakale town, killing at least five, wounding eight. The killings fueled already-high tension between Ankara and Damascus. Reuters

The above video, posted on Wednesday, is supposedly from a brigade of Syrian rebels who claim to have kidnapped 20 UN workers of Filipino origin. According to a translation from the Times of Israel and Haaretz, the kidnappers captured the vehicle convoy close to the village of Jamla, near the Israel-controlled Golan Heights.  

"The command of the Martyrs of Yarmouk announced that it is holding forces of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force until the withdrawal of forces of the regime of (President) Bashar Assad from the outskirts of the village of Jamla," said a man, in translation. “"If no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them as prisoners.”

The UNDOF is the United Nations military detachment that has been monitoring the area between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

The UN confirmed the incident, but wouldn't verify if the brigade was the Al-Yarmouk unit, as the people in the video claimed to be.

“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 Jamla. The Mission is dispatching a team to assess the situation and attempt a resolution,” UN Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey told reporters at a noon briefing.

In a statement, the Israeli Army North Command unit said “there is no change in security procedures near the border due to the event. This is an internal Syrian incident.”

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