Tag Archives: Irish Troops

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Map of Golan Heights

Tom Clonan, in the Irish Times, writes:

“As Islamist rebels step-up attacks on the UN and intensify their military campaign within what they term the “southern front” on Syria’s Golan Heights, the risks to Irish troops are escalating.”

“This raises serious questions about the ongoing viability of the UN mission in the area. The original Undof (United Nations Disengagement Observation Force) was created 40 years ago. The original UN Security Council Resolution 350 mandates an international force to monitor a zone of separation between Israel and Syria.”

“The original mandate did not envisage a vicious civil war in Syria and does not cater for the reality of today’s de facto armed conflict in the area of operations. In short, regional events have overtaken the mission’s design and rationale.”

“All stakeholders in this rapidly evolving conflict – Assad’s Syrian forces, the Israeli military and Islamist resistance groups – have a track record in killing Irish peacekeepers. Fifty per cent of our casualties in Lebanon were inflicted by the Israelis and their proxies. The remainder of our casualties there were inflicted by Islamic resistance groups such as Hizbullah and Palestinian militias. Syrian troops shot dead an Irish army officer, Comdt Thomas Wickham, on Golan in 1967.”

“In deciding whether or not to extend the deployment of Irish troops to this volatile situation – or indeed to rotate more troops into the area in September – the Irish Government needs to consider this risk.”

Analysis: Irish peacekeepers’ position at Golan in line of fire (Tom Clonan, Irish Times)

Pic: Wikipedia