Phl withdraws UN peacekeepers in Golan Heights
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2014 - 10:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Philippine government has withdrawn Filipino peacekeepers from Golan Heights even before their tour of duty ends in October due to the deteriorating security situation in the area, a military official said today.

Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the first batch of the 7th AFP contingent composed of over 300 Filipino soldiers will arrive today afternoon.

Due to the volatile operational environment in the Golan Heights, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) command has decided to move all its peacekeepers from the Syrian side to the Israeli side of the mission area, Zagala said.

He said all positions and observation points in the Syrian side, along with UNDOF headquarters in Camp Fauoar, have been vacated.

"Because of this repositioning of all peacekeepers to the Israeli side of Golan Heights and its attendant logistical constraints on UNDOF, it was deemed practical that Philippine contingent be repatriated earlier than expected," Zagala said.

The Philippine military announced earlier that it would no longer send Filipino contingent to Golan Heights after the current group ends its tour of duty in October.

Last month, Syrian rebels surrounded the encampment of Filipino peacekeepers as they attempted to seize the soldiers. The Filipino soldiers managed to escape after hours of fighting.




 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CAMP FAUOAR FILIPINO GOLAN GOLAN HEIGHTS HEIGHTS LIEUTENANT COLONEL RAMON ZAGALA PEACEKEEPERS UNITED NATIONS DISENGAGEMENT OBSERVER FORCE XINHUA ZAGALA
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