Syria

Three UN Observers Released Between Syria, Israel

Were held this morning by anti-government forces

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Three United Nations observers posted in the buffer zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights were seized by armed anti-government forces and held for five hours this week before being released unharmed, the U.N. said.

It marked the third time this year that U.N. personnel along the Golan Heights had been abducted, highlighting how the Syrian conflict has been destabilizing the region. All so far have been released unharmed.

The U.N. Security Council on Thursday "strongly condemned" the latest kidnapping, which it blamed on "anti-government armed elements" who detained the three observers and "looted" a U.N. observation post a day earlier.