Security Council concerned about situation in the Golan Heights

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Peacekeepers with the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) patrol the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel

The Security Council is calling for all parties in the Syrian conflict to respect the safety and security of personnel serving with the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.

In a press statement on Wednesday, Council members expressed grave concern at the presence of the Syrian Army and armed members of the opposition in the area.

UNDOF has been monitoring the ceasefire in the Golan Heights since 1974 following war between Israel and Syria the previous year.

Council members were also concerned about risks posed to the ceasefire and to the local population.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin is the Security Council president for March.

"The members of the Security Council also underscored the increased risk the situation poses to United Nations personnel on the ground, as highlighted in particular by the detention of the 21 UNDOF military personnel by armed elements of the Syrian opposition, the firing directed at United Nations personnel and facilities, and the carjacking of United Nations vehicles."

The Council had received a briefing on Tuesday by UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous who outlined security risks and operational challenges facing peacekeepers due to ongoing fighting in UNDOF's area of operation.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’14″

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