Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin via Wikimedia
Russian police troops

The Russian military police will establish eight outposts near the demilitarized zone at the Golan Heights on the Syrian-Israeli border, a deputy commander of the Russian forces in Syria in charge of the military police, Viktor Zaytsev, told TASS. According to Zaytsev, the first permanent observation post of the Russian military police has already been set up.

“Seven more will be created in the future,” he said, adding that “they will serve as a security guarantee for civilians of the Quneitra district.”

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Another deputy commander of the Russian forces in Syria, Sergei Kuralenko, said the outposts will be created near the demilitarized zone, controlled by UN forces. “I would like to stress that there will be no Russian military police posts in the demilitarized zone [itself],” he said.

The Golan Heights was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, and Israel continued to control Quneitra until 1974, when it was returned to Syrian civilian control following a United States-brokered disengagement agreement – on condition that it remain militarized and under the supervision of a permanent UN mission. In 1981, the Knesset annexed the remaining part of the Golan it occupied.

Earlier this year, a UN mission, accompanied by the Russian military police, for the first time since the start of the civil war, reentered the district from the UN contingency in Damascus. Since 2011, UN forces had had to enter the area through the Lebanese border, because the Syrian part of the demilitarized zone was held by rebels.

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