In an open letter to the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, a Syrian rebel faction has threatened to begin targeting the UNDOF troops if they don’t prevent Syria from deploying military forces into the demilitarized zone.
The zone was set up in May of 1974 after clashes over Israel’s occupation of parts of the Golan Heights. The demilitarized zone was meant to put some distance between Israel and Syrian forces, however, and not to give the rebels an uncontested stranglehold on the region.
The UN has commented on the latest rebel demands, but in practice its observer force isn’t powerful enough to force Syria’s military out of the zone, and since the incursions have nothing to do with the UNDOF mission of keeping Syria and Israel from fighting, it’s hard to imagine the UN Security Council is going to support the rebel interpretation.
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