Friday, May 29
Latest News
  1. FIFA congress reconvenes after bomb threat
  2. Muhammadu Buhari sworn in as president of Nigeria
  3. Witnesses: blast outside Saudi Shiite mosque during prayers
  4. Iranian opposition: Iran, N. Korea 'collaborate' on nuclear arms
  5. More than 700 migrants rescued in Mediterranean
  6. Car bombs rock two upmarket Baghdad hotels, five dead
  7. Coalition strikes, fighting kill 40 rebels in Yemen's Aden
  8. Police: car bombs explode near two Baghdad hotels
  9. Myanmar rejects being 'singled out' by UN over migrant crisis at Thai
  10. Top US negotiator with Iran 'to leave after June 30 deadline'
  11. Ministry: Tunisia arrests 2nd Morocco suspect in Bardo attack
  12. Angolan activist gets six months suspended jail sentence
  13. Spain judge opens terrorism case against Boko Haram
  14. Minister: S.African president cleared in corruption scandal
  15. Etihad profits soar 52 percent on expansion, more passengers
  16. Cyprus holds Lebanese man over possible bomb material
  17. Two Saudi border guards die in Yemen shelling
  18. Catholic Church says withdrawing support for Burundi elections
  19. Libya issues warning after PM escapes assassination
  20. Nebraska becomes 19th US state to halt death penalty

Israel asks UN to act on Syria tanks in Golan

Nov. 6, 2012 10:58 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 7, 2012 6:08 P.M.)
By: Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- Israel has asked the UN Security Council to act on a "dangerous escalation" by Syria, which has sent tanks into a demilitarized zone in the Golan Heights patrolled by UN peacekeepers to maintain a ceasefire between the neighbors.

Israel captured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau, from Syria during a 1967 Middle East war. The 155-square-mile zone is a so-called "area of separation" where Syrian military forces are not allowed under a 1973 ceasefire formalized in 1974. Israel and Syria are still technically at war.

The zone has been largely quiet since the ceasefire. But on Saturday an Israeli military spokeswoman said three Syrian tanks had entered the area and Israeli media said the tanks were involved in the fighting with rebels.

"The tanks remain in this area. Just today, gunfire from the Syrian side of the border struck an Israeli patrol," Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor wrote to the Security Council in a letter dated Monday and released Tuesday.

"The international community and the Security Council should address this alarming development without delay to prevent further escalation," he wrote.

A revolt by Syrians against President Bashar Assad began as peaceful rallies calling for more freedoms and democracy but turned into an armed struggle after the military cracked down on protesters.

Diplomatic intervention has been fruitless because major world and regional powers cannot agree over how to end the conflict. It has killed about 32,000 people, making it the bloodiest of Arab uprisings that have ousted entrenched leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen since early last year.

Israel said Syrian tanks entering the Golan Heights represented "a dangerous escalation that could have far-reaching implications for the security and stability of our region."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday there had been sporadic fighting between Syrian troops and the opposition in the Golan Heights, with the Syrian army using mortar shells and tank rounds, some of which landed across the ceasefire line in Israeli-occupied territory.

"The presence of military personnel and the military operations in the area of separation is a grave violation of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces," Nesirky told reporters.

"UNDOF (the UN peacekeeping mission) reported that the situation today is relatively quiet, but has not observed the battle tanks leaving," he said. "The UNDOF Force Commander continues to liaise with Syrian authorities and the Israel Defense Forces to prevent an escalation of tension."
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015