U.N. Fiji peacekeepers released on Golan

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The 45 United Nations Fiji peacekeepers that have been held captive by a Syrian rebel group since last month were released.

The peacekeepers, captured on the Golan Heights, were released Thursday at the Quneitra crossing in the Golan on the border with Israel, the United Nations confirmed Thursday afternoon. They were captured and held by the Nusra Front, a rebel group linked to al-Qaida.

“All the 45 peacekeepers are in good condition and will proceed back to Camp Foar for medical assessment,” the United Nations said in a statement.

It is not known if the rebel group received any concessions in exchange for the peacekeepers. They had demanded removal from the United Nations terrorist list, humanitarian aid to Damascus, and compensation for the death of three of its fighters killed by UN forces.

Earlier in the day, a 15-minute video showing the peacekeepers was released on Facebook, in which one of the troops said that they were informed that they would released soon and that “we are all happy to be going home.” He adds that they were treated well by the rebel group.