UN Convoy Held Hostage in the Golan Heights

A group of UN observers was taken hostage yesterday on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights by “Syrian” rebels — the same mujahideen who are bankrolled and given weapons by Western governments, all in the name of instituting “democracy” in the Arab world.

I placed the word “Syrian” in quotes above because, based on their accents, the rebel spokesmen who made the following video may be Saudis or other non-Syrian Arabs.

Many thanks to Russkiy for the translated summary, and to Vlad Tepes for titling and uploading the clip:

Below is an article from yesterday’s ANSAmed about the hostage-taking:

Syrian Rebels Take UN Observers Hostage in Golan Heights

To be released if Assad’s army withdraws from southern city

(ANSAmed) — Beirut, March 6 — A group of UN observers have been “stopped in the Golan Heights” by members of Syrian opposition fighters, according to a Youtube video in which rebels are seen in front of a UN vehicle.

The rebels say they will release the observers if Assad’s army withdraws from Jamlah in the Daraa province. The video shows the spokesman for the ‘Martyrs of Yarmouk’ brigade saying that “today on March 6 ,2013, we have taken into custody UN forces and will hold onto them until Assad’s (the Syrian president) troops withdraw from the Jamlah village.” The young man went on to say that “we are asking the United States, Europe and the (UN) Security Council to release those we have in our hands…to withdraw Assad’s troops from Jamlah, along the Israeli border. If this does not happen within 24 hours, we will treat them (the UN peacekeepers) as prisoners.” The name of the Syrian rebel brigade is in memory of the historical battle fought between Byzantine forces and the Islamic army in the seventh century A.D. near the Yarmouk river, which today runs between the borders of Jordan, Syria and Israel.

An article from today’s Asia News reveals that the hostages are Filipinos from UNDOF:

Manila Demands Syrian Rebels Free 21 Filipino UN Observers

They are being held hostage by the “Martyrs of Yarmouk”, who are treating them “like guests”, but demand withdrawal of Assad’s forces from Golan region for their release. Ban Ki-moon condemns the kidnapping. The Russian ambassador asks Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to help free the 21 prisoners of this “bizarre” kidnapping.

New York City (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The Manila government is demanding the immediate release of 21 citizens, all UN observers, taken hostage by rebel groups Syrians on the Golan Heights.

The 21 people abducted are part of a group of 300 Filipinos from the “United Nations Disengagement Observer Force [UNDOF] in the Golan Heights”. The unit is stationed on the heights between Syria and Israel to ensure the absence of military actions between the two ancient enemies since the Yom Kippur War (1973).

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has condemned the kidnapping and the Security Council has demanded the release of 21 the hostages.

According to UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey, the UN observers were stopped yesterday by a group of 30 armed near an observation post. A video posted on the internet shows their capture, which took place near the village of Jamlah, in the province of Daraa. The group “Martyrs of Yarmouk” has claimed responsibility and is accusing the UN observers of supporting the Assad government. The group claim “they will not be released until the forces of Bashar Assad are withdrawn from the village of Jamlah, on the border with Israel. “ There have been recent clashes between Syrians rebels and army in the area. The “Martyrs of Yarmouk” first accused the observers of passing information of their position to Syrian soldiers, and then stated that they took the observers to use them as a human shield, so that the Syrians would not target them. In any case, they say they are treating the UN observers “like guests”. Philippine Army spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos, said that his countrymen are “being treated well, like guests and not as an enemy force”

Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitali Churkin, described the kidnapping of the observers as “particularly bizarre and unacceptable” given that these peacekeepers are unarmed and have nothing to do with the Syrian conflict. He has also called on nations to use their influence on the Syrian opposition to free the hostages. He did not name names, but it is known that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are suppliers of money and weapons to various groups fighting Bashar Assad.

In almost two years, the Syrian conflict, which began as an expression of the Arab Spring, has degenerated into a civil war, with regional and international dimensions. The UN Security Council is divided between support for the rebels and Assad, who is supported by Russia and China in particular.

Hat tips for the articles: Insubria and C. Cantoni.

One thought on “UN Convoy Held Hostage in the Golan Heights

  1. Obviously they could not wait for the UK “to help save lives” armoured vehicles and the millions of pounds in “non-lethal” equipment in lieu of the jizyah tax courtesy of Foreign Secretary William Hague.

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