U.N. to send chemical weapons kits to ceasefire monitors in Golan Heights

United Nations officials recently announced that U.N. troops based in the Golan Heights area would soon receive chemical weapons defense equipment.

The head of U.N. peacekeeping forces, Herve Ladsous told the U.N. Security Council that better measures were needed to protect soldiers monitoring the ceasefire zone between Syria and Israel. Several were recently injured in attacks, according to Inquirer.net.

"We have taken measures to enhance security," Ladsous said, Inquirer.net reports. "For those personnel who are not equipped on a national basis we are sending them some kits to protect them from chemical attack, if that were to happen."

The U.N. Disengagement Force has been monitoring a ceasefire between Israel and Syria since 1974. There are approximately 1,000 U.N. troops in UNDOF, mostly from Austria, Croatia, Japan, India and the Philippines.

In addition to the chemical weapons kits, the U.N. is sending UNDOF extra armored vehicles to be taken from other UN missions. Five Austrians were wounded earlier this year when their convoy came under attack.

"There have been increasing difficulties fulfilling its mandate," Ladsous said, Inquirer.net reports. "The multiplication of incidents is really a concern."

Syria's U.N. ambassador Bashar Jaafari said Damascus is worried that some countries may send extremist groups chemical weapons. He said those groups could use them and then place blame on the government.