UN says Austria Golan withdrawal will affect operations

June 6, 2013 18:31

UNITED NATIONS - The withdrawal of Austrian troops from the UN monitoring force on the Golan Heights will affect the operational capacity of the mission observing a decades-old ceasefire between Syria and Israel, a UN peacekeeping spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"Austria has been a backbone of the mission and their withdrawal will impact the mission's operational capacity," said UN spokeswoman Josephine Guerrero. "We are in discussions with them about timing, and with other troop-contributing countries to provide replacement troops."Austrians account for about 380 of the 1,000-strong UN force.

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