NPR : News

Filed Under:

Syrian Rebels Release U.N. Peacekeepers Near Golan Heights

Four Filipino peacekeepers are now free, days after being abducted by Syrian rebels. They had been patrolling near the area that divides Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The rebels said Wednesday that the four had been held for their own protection. But Filipino officials say they were used as human shields.

"The people that abducted our peacekeepers were actually under siege and they are using our people to get themselves out of the situation they find themselves in. That thing is not for us," said the Philippines' foreign minister, Albert del Rosariosaid, according to the BBC.

Reporting for NPR's Newscast Desk from Manila, Simone Orendain reports that the rebels, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, also cited safety concerns when they kidnapped — and eventually released — 21 Filipino U.N. peacekeepers in March.

On Friday, del Rosario recommended to President Benigno Aquino that the country withdraw more than 340 Filipino soldiers who are in the Golan Heights on peacekeeping duties.

The U.N. has supervised the cease-fire between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights since 1974.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Republicans Warn Of High Energy Costs With Obama's 'Clean Power Plan'

Republican leaders in Virginia say Obama's clean energy plan would drive up energy costs and damage a struggling economy. Democrats say saving the planet is more important than the short-term problem of higher energy bills.
NPR

Hope Or Hype: The Revolution In Africa Will Be Wireless

Young entrepreneurs in Africa say that they're leading a tech movement from the ground up. They think technology can solve social ills. But critics wonder if digital fixes can make a dent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.