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Thread: U.N. peacekeepers taken hostage by Syrian rebels

  1. #1
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    U.N. peacekeepers taken hostage by Syrian rebels

    U.N. peacekeepers taken hostage by Syrian rebels



    Anti-government fighters have taken around 20 United Nations peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights along the Syria-Israel border, a sign of the desperation to expand the conflict in Syria to its neighbouring countries.

    The U.N. has confirmed that around 20 peacekeepers have been taken hostage by a group of 30 opposition fighters. The confirmation came after a video surfaced on YouTube showing armed men standing in front of two vehicles bearing U.N. markings.

    A U.N. statement said the peacekeepers “were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near Observation Post 58, which had sustained damage and was evacuated this past weekend following heavy combat in close proximity, at Al Jamlah”.

    However, in the video posted online, an opposition activist claiming to be part of the “Martyrs of Yarmouk” group blamed the U.N. peacekeepers of partisanship. He said the peacekeepers were collaborating with the Syrian government forces who were engaged in a fierce battle with the opposition fighters in the nearby village of Jamlah. He warned that if “no withdrawal is made within 24 hours we will treat them [peacekeepers] as prisoners”.

    Human Rights Watch is investigating the group’s involvement in a videotaped execution of detained Syrian soldiers, which was posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

    Russia’s representative at the U.N. Vitaly Churkin has slammed the capture of the peacekeepers as a show of “gross disrespect for the United Nations”. “Right now there are negotiations between U.N. representatives and the captors and we hope that the [U.N.] personnel will be released immediately as the UNSC demands,” he said.

    The Russian diplomat said “some people are trying very hard in order to extend the geography of the Syrian conflict”. He was linking the incident on the Syria-Israel border to the killing by antigovernment fighters of 48 Syrian soldiers and nine Iraqi servicemen inside Iraqi territory on Monday. Iraq has subsequently closed a border crossing with Syria and dispatched reinforcements.

    The recent propensity of elements in the Syrian opposition to pursue extreme military measures has intensified the search for a negotiated end to the conflict. On Thursday, the three heavyweights on Syria — Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and U.N. and Arab League envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi — were to meet in London to deliberate on the situation.
    U.N. peacekeepers taken hostage by Syrian rebels - The Hindu
    Surprised that this hasn't been posted yet.
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  2. #2
    Global Moderator
    Dirty Kiwi
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    Syria's been painting its vehicles in UNDOF's area the same colours as the UN force, effectively pretending to be UN to move its troops around.
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility

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  3. #3
    Arzi Hukumat-e-Azad Hind Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Syria's been painting its vehicles in UNDOF's area the same colours as the UN force, effectively pretending to be UN to move its troops around.
    Pari, that issue seems to have been resolved by UNDOF (from the same article):

    Recently UNDOF was accused on the internet of helping the Syrian Arab Armed Forces (SAAF) by using UNDOF vehicles and equipment to transport governmental troops. UNDOF denies these accusations categorically and condemns such baseless accusations which further undermine the security and stability in the area. Moreover, UNDOF vigorously protests that the Syrian Forces are using vehicles colored similar to our vehicles. As a result of this protests those vehicles were subsequently removed by the Syrian Forces.
    So the Syrian insurgents shouldn't have an excuse to continue to hold those UN soldiers captive. Ofcourse, the captured UN soldiers (who by their mission are unarmed) are from the Phillipines so kidnapping them couldn't have been an issue of mistaken identity either.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Pari, that issue seems to have been resolved by UNDOF (from the same article):



    So the Syrian insurgents shouldn't have an excuse to continue to hold those UN soldiers captive. Ofcourse, the captured UN soldiers (who by their mission are unarmed) are from the Phillipines so kidnapping them couldn't have been an issue of mistaken identity either.
    I'm not saying it to provide an excuse for the rebels, just background to the current situation.
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    This shows how disjointed the Syrian resistance is and a foretaste of how hard it will be to control a post-Assad Syria.
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