- Title: UN Observer Forces return to positions in Quneitra, Syria
- Date: 25th November 2016
- Summary: QUNEITRA, SYRIA (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) ROAD CARS OUTSIDE UN BUILDING MAN AT THE GATE OUTSIDE UN BUILDING ROAD WITH U.N. BARRIERS U.N. BUILDING WITH SIGN READING (English): "INTERNET COFFEE" U.N. BUILDING BY ROAD U.N. OBSERVATION POST WITH A SOLDIER WEARING BLUE HELMET (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOAEEN SHIREEF, SYRIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCES, SAYING: "UNDOF withdrew from the area (after) they were subjected to mortar shells and artillery from the armed gangs and resulted in their sudden withdrawal into the occupied side, the occupied Golan." BARRIER WITH U.N. WRITTEN ON IT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOAEEN SHIREEF, SYRIAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCES, SAYING: "Following the coordination that took place and the return of part of them to the centre of UNDOF. It is their duty as peacekeeping forces to ensure the safety of civilians." BARBED WIRE FENCE OF U.N. BASE BANNER READING (Arabic and English) "NON U.N. - VEHICLES MUST STOP HERE FOR INSPECTION" CAR DRIVING ROAD ROAD SIGN READING (Arabic): "HARAFA"
- Embargoed: 10th December 2016 11:32
- Keywords: Syria Quneitra UN peacekeepers
- Location: QUNEITRA, SYRIA
- City: QUNEITRA, SYRIA
- Country: Syria
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00159Y0MKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Part of United Nations Disengagement Observer Forces (UNDOF), returned to their base next to Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Thursday (November 24) after pulling out from their positions due to deterioration of security in the region in 2014.
UNDOF was established in 1974 by U.N. Security Council Resolution 350 following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan.
The decision to pull blue-helmeted observers from four positions in the northern part of the so-called area of separation to the Israeli side of the Golan Heights in September 2014 came after clashes between members of UNDOF and al-Qaeda-linked militants.
Syria and Israel technically remain at war. Syrian troops are not allowed in the area of separation, a narrow strip of land running about 45 miles (70 km) from Mount Hermon on the Lebanese border to the Yarmouk River frontier with Jordan. UNDOF monitors the area of separation with peacekeepers from various member countries.
The UNDOF mandate is to supervise the cease-fire between Israel and Syria and the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces.
Video footage obtained by Reuters showed the U.N. facility in Quneitra on Thursday (November 24). A blue-helmeted soldier was seen manning the observation post but most of the buildings at the facility appeared empty.
Moeen Shireef, an officer of the Syrian National Defence Force, speaking outside the Quneitra base, said the presence of UN peacekeepers will help secure the safety of civilians in the area.
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