Condemn terrorists – Syria urges UN

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SYRIA’S Foreign and Expatriates Ministry yesterday demanded that the UN unequivocally condemns the attacks by the armed terrorist groups on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) observers and the civilians in the disengagement area in the Syrian Golan Heights.

In two identical letters addressed to the president of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General on the detention of 21 UNDOF observers by an armed group near Jamleh village near the forces’ disengagement area in the Syrian Golan, the ministry said that the Syrian government has fully cooperated with the UNDOF command through a one-sided ceasefire as it cares for the safety of the UN forces.

‘The Syrian government was surprised when informed that the gunmen carried the abducted observers to Jordan instead of releasing them unconditionally and handing them over to the force command,’ the ministry said, warning that ‘this might encourage a repetition of the incident by the armed groups.’

The letters added that as the Syrian government ‘reiterates commitment to its obligations based on the Separation of Forces Agreement and enabling the UN forces to carry out their mandate in the Syrian Golan, it would like to call to mind the repeated attacks recently against the UN forces by the armed groups.’

The ministry said that the armed groups take advantage of UN inattention to their dangerous activities and get increasingly active in the area due to logistical support they receive from the Israeli occupation forces, in a clear violation of the 1974 Disengagement Agreement.

‘It also holds Israel responsible for the threat posed by these groups to the safety of UNDOF forces and staff,’ the ministry added.