In order to carry out its mandate, UNDOF maintains an area of separation, which is over 75 kilometres (46.6 miles) long and varies in width between approximately 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) in the centre to 200 meters (0.12 miles) in the extreme south. The terrain is hilly and is dominated in the north by Mount Hermon, which is the location of the globe’s highest permanently manned United Nations position at an altitude of 2,814 meters (1,75 miles).
On each side of the area of separation there is an area of limitation with three zones; a zone of 0 to 10 kilometres (6.21 miles) from the area of separation, a zone of 10 (6.21 miles) to 20 kilometres (12.43 miles) from the area of separation, and a zone of 20 (12.43 miles) to 25 kilometres (15.53 miles) from the area of separation. UNDOF with the support of UNTSO’s Observer group Golan (OGG) continuously inspects and monitors these areas of limitation in order to ascertain that the agreed limitations in armaments and forces are being observed.
The responsibility for governance and policing in the area of separation remains with the Host Nation notwithstanding the presence of various armed groups within the area. In September 2014, due to the evolving Syrian conflict, UNDOF was required to reconfigure and consequently implement its mandate in a modified manner weighted on the A-Side. UNDOF’s deployment today consists of a total of twelve positions – seven of which are in the AOS.
The Nepalese battalion (NEPCON) occupies the Northern sector of the area of separation while the Fijian Battalion (FB), Irish Contingent and OGG are deployed to the South. The Irish contingent also makes up the UNDOF’s force reserve (FRC) and is based in Camp Ziouani. Mine clearance operations are conducted by the force reserve explosives element under the operational control of UNDOF Headquarters. UNDOF is also assisted in its Mission by the 77 military observers of UNTSOs Observer Group Golan (OGG) who are under the operational command of the Force Commander.
Currently UNDOF Headquarters is located at Camp Yafour and an administrative office is maintained in Damascus (ROD). Logistic support to UNDOF is provided by the Indian contingent based in Camp Ziouani. They perform the second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by UNDOF and maintenance of heavy equipment. First-line logistic support is internal to the contingents and includes transport of supplies to the positions.
Despite its modified deployment, UNDOF continues to carry out its mandate supervising the area of separation and intervening where possible whenever military personnel enter or try to operate therein. This intervention is done through the formulation and submission of a violation reports per the UNDOF disengagement agreement.
Although in the last 18 months UNDOF has adopted a new posture it continues to carry out its mandate and monitors the area of separation and limitation. The Force intent remains to be one that envisages a return to the AOS when the operational environment allows.