UN calls for armed groups to leave Golan ‘area of separation’

Tanks are deployed next to cows near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights on May 10, 2018

United Nations (United States) (AFP) – The UN Security Council on Friday unanimously renewed for six months its mission to observe the ceasefire in the Golan Heights, calling for armed groups to leave the area separating Syrian and Israeli forces.

UNDOF, which comprises nearly a thousand personnel, was created in 1974 after an agreement on the departure of Israeli and Syrian forces from Golan.

In 1981, Israel annexed part of Golan in a move unrecognized by the international community, while a smaller part of the area is under Syrian control.

“There should be no military forces in the area of separation other than those of UNDOF,” reads the resolution drafted by the United States and Russia.

The text condemns “the continued fighting in the area of separation” and calls on “all parties to the Syrian domestic conflict to cease military actions in the UNDOF area of operations.”

It “stresses the obligation on both parties to scrupulously and fully respect the terms of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement.”

“There should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation,” either by the Syrian military or opposition forces, it said.