UN Security Council urges Syrian warring parties to stop fighting in UN buffer zone

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The U.N. Security Council is urging Syrian government forces and rebel groups to stop fighting in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel and withdraw from the area.

The council strongly condemned recent intense fighting in the buffer zone in a resolution adopted unanimously Thursday that extends until June 30 the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force that has patrolled the area of separation since 1974.

The council supported Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's findings that military activity in the zone has the potential to escalate tensions between Israel and Syria, "jeopardize the cease-fire between the two countries, and pose a risk to the local civilian population" and U.N. personnel.

For nearly four decades, the U.N. force helped enforce a stable truce but the Syrian war has spilled into the buffer zone.