UN calls for halt of conflict in Syria’s Golan

In resolution co-sponsored by Russia and US, UN calls on halt to military operations between Syrian rebels and regime forces in area separating Israel and Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Monday condemned fighting and the usage of heavy weapons by rebels and Syrian regime forces in the Golan heights, a region which has separated Israel and Syria since 1974.

Both Russia and the United States co-sponsored the resolution, which the council unanimously adopted on Monday. The resolution calls on the Syrian opposition and regime forces to halt military operations in the Golan area to avoid any escalation in Israeli-Syrian tensions.

The Golan Heights are Syrian lands mostly occupied by Israel. Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights in a six-day war in 1967 and annexed it later in a move which was not recognised internationally.

The 750-strong UN peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights will extend its mission until December 31 according to the resolution.

The UN mission known as UNDOF - with about 750 soldiers from Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, and the Netherlands - was established in 1974. It monitors a ceasefire line on the Golan Heights.

The UN has enforced a truce between Israel and Syria in the area for four decades, but the Golan Heights recently became a battleground between Syrian rebels and the regime.

Mortar shells fired from Syria wounded two UN peacekeepers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights in May.

In January 2015, a Spanish UN peacekeeper was killed on the Israel-Lebanon border during an exchange of fire between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters.

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, the Golan Heights have been tense, with a growing number of rockets and mortar rounds hitting the Israeli side.

TRTWorld and agencies