UN calls on Syrian troops to withdraw from Israel border
Security Council condemns fighting in buffer zone between Syria and Israel, urges Syrian government and rebels to withdraw from the area.
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned the fighting in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel, calling on the Syrian government and rebel groups to withdraw from the area which is patrolled by UN peacekeepers, reported The Associated Press.
A resolution sponsored by Russia and the United States and adopted unanimously by the Security Council extends the mandate of the peacekeeping mission known as UNDOF until December 31.
It came following several incidents this week in which the fighting in Syria’s civil war spilled over into Israel.
On Sunday, several mortar shells exploded in an open area in the northern Golan Heights. Israel later retaliated by attacking two Syrian artillery pieces and an ammunition truck on the Syrian side of the northern Golan Heights.
On Monday, mortar fire from Syria struck Israel, sparking fires in the northern Golan Heights.
And on Wednesday, a mortar shell from Syria landed on the Golan Heights. The IDF retaliated for the incident, attacking a mortar site belonging to the Syrian regime from which the rocket was fired.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later clarified that Israel “will not tolerate spillover” and would “respond to every firing”.
The resolution passed by the Security Council on Thursday backed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ findings that ongoing military activities in the area of separation have the potential to escalate tensions and jeopardize the ceasefire between Israel and Syria, and pose risks to civilians and UN personnel on the ground.
The resolution condemned the use of heavy weapons, including tanks, by both the Syrian armed forces and armed groups in the area of separation, according to AP.
The Security Council urged Gutteres “to accelerate the development of proposals for such technologies.”