The Syrian opposition group,
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, posted videos Thursday showing members of the UN peacekeeping force captured
Wednesday in the Golan Heights.
The UN peacekeepers, who are from the Philippines, appear in one video with their faces blurred, and say that they are safe and fine. Rebels abducted 21 peacekeepers near the village of Jamla after attacking their convoy. The rebels claims the group was kidnapped in an attempt to stop Assad's forces from firing at them, and that the peacekeepers are being treated like guests
and no harm will come upon them.
In one of the videos, six men can be seen dressed in army fatigues sitting side by side.
In the video, which was also screened on Al Jazeera, one of the men presents himself as the UN's peacekeeping force's commander and said that the group is safe.
He explained that they were forced to make a stop in the village of Jamla because of heavy artillery fire in the area and further said that locals helped keep them safe, placing them in a number of safe houses, and providing them with water and food.
In another video posted online, three men dressed in camouflage and blue bullet-proof vests emblazoned with the UN and "Philippines" can be seen.
One man says in English that they "are safe and the Free Syrian Army was treating us good."
The kidnappers, a unit of the "Martyrs of Yarmouk",
which released the kidnapping video
Wednesday, attempted to cast the abduction in a more favorable light with the organization's spokesperson claiming that a video testifying to the peacekeeper's safety and well-being was sent to the UN.
Hostages: 'Safe and fine'
According to him, the Filipino peacekeepers are being treated as "guests" and will not be harmed. He then reiterated the group's condition for releasing the hostages, demanding that the bombardment of the area by Assad's forces halt effective immediately.
The UNDOF peacekeeping force is charged with patrolling the Syrian-Israeli border and ensuring neither side breaches their 1974 armistice
agreement in the Golan Heights.
UNDOF forces on Syrian-Israeli border (Photo: AFP)
The majority of the force's business is conducted on the Syrian side of the border, with the Israeli side serving mainly to house their logistical command centers.
The soldiers spring from a myriad of nationalities, and include Scandinavians, Austrians and even Japanese.
In addition to patrolling the demilitarized border region, the force is charged with coordinating the occasional border crossing between Israel
Unlike UNIFIL, the UN's interim force in Lebanon,
UNDOF forces are unarmed, but in the wake of ongoing hostilities in the area, they have began moving around in armored vehicles.
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