News / Middle East

Heavy Fighting in Golan as UN Seeks Return of Peacekeepers

  • A member of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force looks through binoculars at the Syrian side of the Qunietra crossing from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • An Israeli soldier stands at a military outpost in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near the border fence with Syria, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • A rebel fighter in a battle with Syrian army soldiers near the Golan Heights, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Syrian army soldiers near the Golan Heights, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • A Syrian army tank in a battle with rebel fighters in Syria near the Golan Heights, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Syrian army soldiers fire during a battle with rebels near the border fence with the Golan Heights, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Rebel fighters perform a military display as part of a graduating ceremony at a camp in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus, Aug. 31, 2014.
  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad heads a meeting of his new cabinet in Damascus, Aug. 31, 2014
VOA News

Heavy fighting has erupted between Syrian forces and rebel fighters in the Golan Heights, as the United Nations seeks the return of 44 peacekeepers seized there last week.

The clashes occurred near the Quneitra border crossing, the same area where al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front rebels abducted the peacekeepers. It is not clear whether the Syrian army has taken control of the crossing from the militants.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were casualties from Monday's fighting, but did not say how many.

The peacekeepers are part of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force that monitors the buffer zone in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.  The militants abducted 44 peacekeepers from Fiji and surrounded 75 peacekeepers from the Philippines on Thursday.  The Filipino troops escaped after their position came under fire.  

On Sunday, the United Nations said it did not have information on where the abducted peacekeepers were being held, but was "actively seeking their immediate and unconditional release."

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by: Joan Camara
September 01, 2014 9:47 PM
I'm trying to understand why yahoo put out this article, when the UN peacekeeprs are NOT free yet? This article is dated BEFORE this one.
http://news.yahoo.com/75-philippine-un-peacekeepers-defy-syria-rebels-055243711.html

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
September 01, 2014 10:12 AM
The very objective of the Syrian rebel unts must be to act act as a resultant fighting force to take on the Syrian regime forces, the Hizbollah militia and the Iran backers who do defend the Assad regime so far since 2011. The primus and the princep drawback of the rebel units is they do not move under an unified command.

Another drawback of the Syrian rebel units is not to abduct the free-lancing journalists only but even fighting the UN peace keepers, abducting them whose duty is under the UN auspices to act as a dividing line over the Quneitra crossing over the Golan area.......It's al Nusra or any other rebel unit that has taken captive the UN peace keepers should free immediately........ While the entire world supports do stand for the rebel units that are fighting the dictatorial regime of president Assad; very unfortunately, the IS like organizations who are distracted from their real objective of the Syrian civil war do not only losing world supports for them but their infandus activities have made the world stand against them now.

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