The United Nations has reported that 43 “peacekeepers” from their monitoring operation in the Golan Heights have been captured by Syrian rebels in the wake of them overrunning the lone border crossing into Israel.
The 43 troops were identified as being from Fiji, and are currently believed to be held in the southern “area of separation” between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan by fighters identifying themselves as with Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda reel faction.
The UNDOF force has been in Golan since the end of the 1973 war. The fate of the Fiji soldiers is still unknown, and 81 troops from the Philippines, also in the area, are said to be pinned down by the same rebels.
The US State Department was reluctant to be too critical of the capture of the UN soldiers, since these are many of the same rebel factions they are openly backing, but did say they didn’t think the UNDOF “should be a target of these types of efforts.”
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