The Golan Heights, in south-western Syria, was seized by Israel following "Six-Day Wars" in 1967. Israel announced in 1981 that it annexed the Golan Heights and the region came under Israeli military control.
Although the United Nations (UN) did not recognize Israel's move and called on Israel to give back the lands it took from Syria, the Golan Heights have been a disputed region between Syria and Israel.
The Russian administration had said Russia was ready to deploy its troops to the Golan Heights to replace Austrian troops. Austria had said it would withdraw its troops from the region following violent clashes between the Syrian army and the Syrian opposition.
Syria has been in a civil war since March 2011. More than 80,000 people have been killed and 1.5 million Syrians have fled the worn-torn country, according to the UN.
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