U.N. cites Syria in backing Golan mandate

Dec. 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council expressed concern about the Syrian war when it made a unanimous decision to extend the mandate for a Golan Heights observer force.

The Security Council extended the mandate for the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force to June 30. The council said it considered the escalating conflict in Syria when voting to support the mandate.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his report on UNDOF operations, said the Syrian conflict was affecting peacekeeping operations in the area.

"The presence of Syrian Arab armed forces and unauthorized military equipment in the area of separation is a grave violation of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israeli and Syrian forces," he said in his report.

Israeli forces in November fired on Syrian positions in response to fighting in and around the occupied Golan Heights. Lebanon, meanwhile, has been on edge since a top intelligence official was assassinated in October. Opposition leaders in Beirut suspect Syria played a role in that attack.

"Recent incidents across the cease-fire line have shown the potential for escalation of tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic, and jeopardize the (1974) cease-fire between the two countries and the stability of the region," Ban's report read.

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