Syrian rebels release kidnapped U.N. peacekeepers

An unmanned UN watchtower stands May 7, 2013, on the Israei side of the border between the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights and Syria. Four UN peacekeepers wer reportedly seized in demilitarised area between the Golan/Syria border.
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

DAMASCUS, Syria Syrian rebels on Sunday released four Filipino U.N. peacekeepers they abducted last week in a dramatic incident that prompted warnings from the Philippines that the nation might pull out its contingent from the Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, a Syrian official said President Bashar Assad's troops have the right to enter the Israeli-occupied Golan whenever they wish — a veiled threat toward Israel to stay out of Syria's conflict.

Also Sunday, Damascus rejected Turkey's allegations that Syria was behind two car bombings that killed 46 people in Turkey and wounded dozens more the day before.

The four Filipinos, seized Tuesday, were apparently unharmed, but they will undergo a medical checkup and stress debriefing, said Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan.

A statement by the rebel group holding the peacekeepers — the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade — said the four were handed over to a U.N. delegation in the border area on Sunday, but provided no other details.