Force Commander's statement on current situation

23 Aug 2013

Force Commander's statement on current situation

August 21, 2013 - Intensive fighting between Syrian Government forces and armed members of the opposition in the vicinity of Ruihinah and in the communities of Braika, Jasim and Bir Ajam in the UNDOF area of operations has entered its fourth day today. The fighting has also taken place in close proximity to UNDOF positions and exposed the Force's peacekeepers to security risks and threats. This is not acceptable, no matter which side they originate from.

The Force Commander and UNDOF remain fully committed to carry out the mandate to the extent possible under the current circumstances. UNDOF has taken necessary security measures to allow its peacekeepers to continue to carry out the Mission's mandate and will not be deterred by security risks and threats resulting from the fighting in its area of operations.

UNDOF was established in 1974 to supervise the implementation of the Disengagement Agreement between Israeli and Syrian forces. Its tasks are to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria; supervise the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces; and to supervise the areas of separation and limitation, as provided in the May 1974 Agreement on Disengagement.

Having to act strictly within its mandate, the Mission has no authority to interfere in the internal conflict in Syria, which is affecting the UNDOF area of operations. UNDOF calls on all sides to respect the safety and security of its personnel and premises.