Saturday, Aug. 29
Latest News
  1. US to Iran: Release Hekmati from 'unjust detention'
  2. Pentagon: Militant hacker killed in US air strike was recruite
  3. UN: Satellite images confirm Palmyra temple destruction
  4. UN envoy urges speedy Libya talks to curb migrant crisis
  5. Four arrested over Austria truck tragedy
  6. Turkey PM forms interim government including pro-Kurdish party
  7. Amnesty accuses UAE of torturing Libyan-Canadian
  8. Qatar Airways 'shamed' into action over pregnancy, marriage
  9. Iran premieres big-budget epic film 'Muhammad'
  10. Tel Aviv's 'Iranian embassy' turns out to be atomic hoax
  11. Iraq PM orders forces to prepare to open Green Zone
  12. Officer: Yemen army recruits 4,800 southern fighters
  13. Monitor: Qaeda-led forces advance on Syria airbase
  14. 71 migrants perish in Austria truck tragedy
  15. German court says ban on rallies in Heidenau 'illegal'
  16. Brazil enters recession in second quarter
  17. State news: Greek snap election set for September 20
  18. Aid workers: Toll in Libya migrant shipwreck rises to 76
  19. IS kills two generals in Iraq, advances in Syria
  20. Qatar Airways 'shamed' into action over pregnancy, marriage

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