UNITED NATIONS, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - United Nation's personnel in the Golan Heights have been relocated to the Israeli-occupied side, as the violence on the Syrian side escalates, the UN announced Monday.
"Armed groups have made advances in the area of UNDOF positions, posing a direct threat to the safety and security of the UN Peacekeepers along the 'Bravo' line and in Camp Faouar," the UN said, adding that all UN personnel "have thus been relocated to the "Alpha" side." The Alpha side being the Israeli-occupied Golan.
On September 3, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a statement that "insisted that UNDOF's mandate, impartiality, operations, safety, and security must be respected." The Security Council demanded that all groups other than UNDOF abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and "return the peacekeepers" vehicles, weapons, and other equipment."
The Security Council concluded that day with "unconditional support for UNDOF and the vital role it plays in support of stability in the Golan Heights."
On Monday, the UN said that "the situation in UNDOF on the Syrian side and the area of separation has deteriorated severely over the last several days," and announced the relocation to the Israeli side.
In late August, a group of militants, presumably of Syrian origin, captured 45 members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) mission from Fiji. They also blocked 72 peacekeepers from the Philippines in the disputed region of the Golan Heights, an area of clashes between militants and the Syrian army.
Later all the Filipino peacekeepers managed to break out of encirclement. And on September 11 the United Nations confirmed that the captured peacekeepers from Fiji have been released.
The United Nations Disengagement Forces (UNDOF) peacekeeping mission on Golan Heights has been monitoring a 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria following the war of 1973.
Currently the mission consists of 1223 troops from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.