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Sunday, December 07, 2014

UN taking steps to preserve Assad regime

The United Nations has decided that one of the duties of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Syrian-Israeli border is to keep the Assad regime informed of Israeli humanitarian activities on the Golan Heights.
According to a report from December 3, 2013, a person wounded on September 15 “was taken by armed members of the opposition across the ceasefire line, where he was transferred to a civilian ambulance escorted by an IDF vehicle." Moreover, from November 9 to 19 the “UNDOF observed at least 10 wounded persons being transferred by armed members of the opposition from the Bravo side across the ceasefire line to IDF."
Further reports indicated similar incidents. However, cooperation between the IDF and Syrian rebels that was revealed in UN observer reports does not just include transferring the wounded. Observers remarked in the report distributed on June 10 that they identified IDF soldiers on the Israeli side handing over two boxes to armed Syrian opposition members on the Syrian side.
The last report distributed to Security Council members, on December 1, described another meeting between IDF soldiers and Syrian opposition members that two UN representatives witnessed on October 27 some three kilometers east of Moshav Yonatan. The observers said they saw two IDF soldiers on the eastern side of the border fence opening the gate and letting two people enter Israel. The report, contrary to previous ones, did not note that the two exiting Syria were injured or why they entered Israel.
This specific event is of particular interest in light of what happened on the Syrian side of the border in the exact same region. According to the report, UN observers stated that tents were set up about 300 meters from the Israeli position for some 70 families of Syrian deserters. The Syrian army sent a letter of complaint to UNDOF in September, claiming this tent camp was a base for “armed terrorists” crossing the border into Israel. The Syrians also warned that if the UN would not evacuate the tent camp, the Syrian army would view it as a legitimate target.
If Haaretz's Barak Ravid knows about these reports, so does Bashar al-Assad (and he probably has known for a long time). What could go wrong?

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