UN chief: Syria threatens Golan ceasefire

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is recommending that the 911-member U.N. peacekeeping force in the Golan Heights be bolstered to 1,250 troops.

Ban has warned that spillover violence in the Golan from Syria's civil war is threatening a nearly four-decade-old ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

His push to bolster the force comes even as the U.N. lobbies other countries to send replacements for Austrian peacekeepers who began withdrawing from the Golan this week after fighting from the Syrian civil war threatened their positions.

Ban said he regretted Austria's withdrawal and that "efforts are underway to identify urgently additional contributions and new contributors to UNDOF," as the force is known.

Ban is also recommending improving the force's self-defense equipment.

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