Putin Says Russian Troops Can Replace Austrians in Golan Heights

Being an ally of Assad could make the proposal a little awkward


(Reuters) – Russia is ready to replace peacekeepers from Austria in the Golan Heights, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, after Vienna said it would recall its troops from a U.N. monitoring force due to worsening fighting in Syria.

Austria, whose peacekeepers account for about 380 of the 1,000-strong U.N. force observing a four-decade-old ceasefire between Syria andIsrael, said it would pull out after intense clashes between Syrian government forces and rebels on the border.