Militants occupy Syria side of Golan Heights: UN envoy

Militants occupy Syria side of Golan Heights: UN envoy

Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:21PM GMT

Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Ja’afari says al-Qaeda-linked militants have occupied “all of the Syrian side” of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, driving out the troops from the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

He said on Tuesday that al-Nusra Front militants seized UN weapons, uniforms and vehicles from peacekeepers in the Golan and established a “safe zone” to launch attacks.

The development came a day after the UN was forced to pull back hundreds of peacekeepers to the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan.

“The terrorists are now using United Nations cars, which hold the emblem of the United Nations forces in the Golan. They are using the uniform of the UNDOF, the weapons of UNDOF, the positions of UNDOF to shell on the Syrian army as well as on the civilians in villages,” Ja’afari told reporters.

He also accused Israel, Qatar and Jordan of having hatched a “very big plot” to destabilize Syria by letting the Takfiri militants gain control of parts of the buffer zone.

The UN Security Council is set to discuss the crisis on the Golan on Wednesday after over 40 Fijian UNDOF troops were taken hostage for two weeks by al-Nusra.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — are supporting the Takfiris fighting the Syrian government.

Golan Heights have been under the Israeli occupation since the 1960s. The Tel Aviv regime captured 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed the region in 1981.

The UN Security Council has rejected the de facto annexation in Resolution 497. The UN also regards the Golan Heights as an occupied territory.

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