UN Peacekeepers Pull Back From Four Golan Positions Amid Tension

Decision follows recent clashes between UNDOF forces and Al-Qaida-linked militants over the past months.

Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols
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Members of UNDOF ride APCs past Israel soldiers in the Golan Heights, before crossing into Syria, August 31, 2014.
Members of UNDOF ride APCs past Israel soldiers in the Golan Heights, before crossing into Syria, August 31, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols

REUTERS - UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights are being relocated from four positions and one camp on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Israeli border, a diplomatic source said on Monday after recent clashes with Al-Qaida-linked militants.

"Staff in UN positions 10, 16, 31 and 37, as well as Camp Faouar on the (Syrian) side are being relocated," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

There was no suggestion that the UN peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights, known as UNDOF, was shutting down.

Last month,45 UNDOF peacekeepers were kidnapped by Islamist militants fighting the Syrian army. All 45 Fijian troops, who had been held for two weeks by Al-Qaida-linked militants, were freed last week.

The Fijians were kidnapped by the Nusra Front, an group battling the Syrian army, after the militants overran a crossing point in the so-called disengagement zone that the UN peacekeeping mission known as UNDOF has monitored since 1974.

The cease-fire line was agreed after a 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

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