- The Washington Times - Friday, June 28, 2013

The United Nations Security Council voted to keep peacekeepers at the Israeli-Syrian border for another six months to monitor a truce between the two nations that has been tested in recent months. They will also be given better defense capabilities, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The peacekeepers, part of the long-running U.N. Disengagement Observer Force, are tasked with monitoring the Golan Heights and reporting truce violations. They normally carry handguns, but due to ongoing and escalating violence in Syria, will be allowed to boost their defenses and wear flak jackets, the Post reported.

A diplomat said they’ll also likely get armored vehicles and machine guns, the Post said.

The resolution to renew the mission received unanimous support, the Post reported.

U.N. officials said they will increase the number of UNDOF peacekeepers from 900 to 1,250, the Post said.

The exact words of the Security Council’s resolution, as reported by the Post: It “stresses the need to enhance the safety and security of UNDOF” and recommends “further adjustments to the posture and operations of the mission, as well as to implement additional mitigation measures to enhance the self-defense capabilities.”

Israel captured the Golan Heights in a 1967 war with Syria. The two countries forged a truce decades ago, but it’s being threatened by spillover from Syria’s civil unrest.

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