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Monday, September 08, 2014

IDF saved Irish UNDOF forces from abduction by Syrian Islamists

The Irish Independent reported on Sunday that the IDF saved 130 Irish United Nations Disengagement Observer Force soldiers from abduction by Syrian rebel Islamists on August 30.
The Sunday Independent has now established from senior sources that Irish soldiers would have been killed or taken hostage by Islamist extremists if it wasn't for the military intervention of the Israeli army during last week's battle to save besieged UN soldiers.


Senior sources said that there would "almost certainly" have been UN casualties or deaths if it wasn't for the help given by the Israeli military, which has posts on high ground overlooking the UN observer bases in Quneitra. The Israeli assistance was described as "decisive" in the success of the mission.

The Israelis were able to guide the Irish-led rescue troops and help it avoid concentrations of the more heavily armed al-Nusra force. There are also unconfirmed reports that the Israelis directed fire at the Islamists to stop them from attacking the Filipino and Irish soldiers.

And the entire UNDOF enterprise now appears to be in danger.
A replacement contingent for the 130 Irish troops in the Golan Heights is still preparing to travel before the end of the month.
However, that could change if the government of the Philippines carries out its threat to withdraw its 331 troops from early next month.
The Filipino military is enraged at the UN, and has claimed that it ordered the troops to surrender to the Islamists, endangering their lives.
The Philippines government and military allege that a detachment of 41 Fijian soldiers who did surrender to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Brigade were only captured after they obeyed a UN order to surrender. Their whereabouts are unknown.
In a statement on Friday, al-Nusra, which has carried out atrocities in Syria, said it was going to try the Fijian soldiers before a Sharia court.
The Filipinos refused to surrender and after a gun battle with the Islamists, and supported by the Irish troops, they managed to break the siege with no loss of life.

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