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UN leader warns Israel-Syria tensions could escalate

12 november 2012, 14:16
0
Photo courtesy of albawaba.com
Photo courtesy of albawaba.com
UN leader Ban Ki-moon appealed Sunday to Israel and Syria to ease tensions on their disputed Golan Heights frontier amid warnings that conflict in Syria could spread, AFP reports.

Israel fired warning shots into Syria after a mortar from the Syrian side hit an Israeli position in the Golan, officials said.

"The secretary general is deeply concerned by the potential for escalation," said the UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

"He calls for the utmost restraint" and urges both side to uphold the 1974 accord which set up a ceasefire line and demilitarized zone which is patrolled by UN forces.

Syria and Israel must halt "firing of any kind" across the ceasefire line, added Ban, who has made repeated warnings that Syria's 20-month old conflict could spill over into battles with neighboring Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.

Ban was "concerned" by reports of clashes between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and opposition rebels in the demilitarized zone in the Golan, said the spokesman. No injuries to civilians or UN personnel were reported, the UN said.

Senior officers in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) have demanded that the Syrian army withdraw from the zone, UN officials said.

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