The Independent is reporting that a United Nations observer mission has been captured by Syrian rebels. Here’s five quick facts you need to know about the conflict.
1. Peacekeepers Captured in Golan Heights
A video was posted on YouTube by a member of the “Martyrs of Yarmouk” brigade in which he stood among fellow rebels with assault rifles in front of 3 UN vehicles, with at least 5 people in light blue UN helmets and bullet-proof vests.
2. 20 People Were Captured
The UN confirmed that 20 peacekeepers were captured by 30 armed rebels in the Golan Heights. A team has since been sent to the area to resolve the conflict.
3. Rebels Want Loyal Forces Out of Jamla
In the video, the speaker said that his group will be is holding the members of United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) until President Bashar al-Assad’s forces leave the village of Jamla, and threatened that if the troops do not withdraw, they will treat the peacekeepers as prisoners.
4. Golan Heights Is Controlled By Israel
The Golan Heights was captured by Israel in 1967. Then, in 1974 a ceasefire was established between Israel and Syria, and is maintained and managed by UNDOF. Under the agreement, Syrians are not allowed to enter the area.
5. Syrian Civil War Is Now In Its Third Year
The rebellion against the regime of Bashar al-Assad has now lasted for 3 years, and is thought to have caused more than 70,000 deaths, and forced over a million refugees out of the country.