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UN chief accuses Syria of violating buffer zone with Israel

Ban Ki-moon calls on President Assad to withdraw troops and equipment, stop airstrikes in the area

Ban Ki-moon speaking at a UN forum on September 9, 2014. (photo credit: UN/Loey Felipe)
Ban Ki-moon speaking at a UN forum on September 9, 2014. (photo credit: UN/Loey Felipe)

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused the Syrian government of violating a 1974 agreement creating a buffer zone between Syria and Israel.

Ban criticized the increased use of heavy weapons by Syria’s government and armed groups operating in the separation area. He called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to withdraw troops and equipment and stop airstrikes from the zone.

Ban stressed in a report to the UN Security Council circulated Tuesday that there should be no military forces in the area of separation except UN peacekeepers.

The UN force started patrolling the Israel-Syria buffer zone a year after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and helped enforce a stable truce between the two countries until the Syrian war spilled into the zone, bringing intense fighting and the abduction of peacekeepers.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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