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Following fierce fighting between rebels and Syrian government troops near the Israeli border, Austria has decided to pull its peacekeepers out of the Golan Heights, reports Die Presse.

The danger to the 380 Austrian soldiers, serving in the Golan as part of a 1,000-strong contingent of UN soldiers overseeing the 1973 ceasefire between Syria and Israel, has reached an "unacceptable level", said Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.

The withdrawal, which should take place within two to four weeks, risks putting a definitive end to the UN mission in the Golan Heights, writes the daily. Israel has requested that the mission be kept in place.