Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 30/08/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!

(MENAFN - Arab News) BEIRUT: Clashes erupted between Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels and UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment activists and officials said as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict.

Other UN peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that that was also surrounded by rebels of the Nusra Front Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate they said.

The clashes came after Syrian rebel groups including the Nusra Front overran the Quneitra crossing located on the frontier between Syrian and Israeli controlled parts of the Golan Heights on Wednesday seizing 44 Fijian peacekeepers.

The Nusra Front also surrounded the nearby Rwihana and Breiqa encampments where other UN peacekeepers were holed up.

The gunbattle began early Saturday at the Rwihana base some 1.5 miles (2.3 kilometers) from Quneitra where 40 Filipino peacekeepers were surrounded by Nusra fighters who were ordering them to surrender said Rami Abdurrahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Gazmin gave a similar account but did not name the armed group.

Abdurrahman whose information comes from a network of activists throughout Syria said he was not aware of any fatalities among the 40 Filipino peacekeepers in the Rwihana encampment as sporadic fighting continued throughout the day. A Philippine military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala also said there were no casualties.

The 35 Filipino UN peacekeepers at the Breiqa encampment were extracted on Saturday morning with the assistance of Irish peacekeepers who rushed to the scene said officials.

The Irish UN peacekeeper battalion which is tasked with emergency responses evacuated all the Filipino UN peacekeepers on Saturday morning said a military official who spoke on condition that his name nor country of origin would be not be revealed citing army policy.

He said there was no shooting involved and no injuries. He said that the Irish battalion also evacuated another base on Friday but provided no further details.

The Philippines' Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin confirmed that peacekeepers from his country were 'extricated.' The Philippine military said there were 35 Filipino troops in the encampment.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that a number of UN peacekeepers entered Israel. He spoke on condition of anonymity citing military guidelines.

It was not immediately clear which rebel group was holding the Fijian UN peacekeepers although it was likely to be the Nusra Front said Syrian activist Abdurrahman.

The Nusra Front has recently seized hostages to exchange for prisoners detained in Syria and Lebanon.

The situation of the peacekeepers tasked with monitoring a 1974 disengagement accord between Syria and Israel remains 'very very fluid' the UN secretary-general's spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Friday at the UN headquarters in New York.

The UN said in a statement that it had received assurances from credible sources that the Fijian peacekeepers 'are safe and in good health.'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the detention of the Fijians and called for their immediate release.

The UN mission known as UNDOF has 1223 troops from six countries: Fiji India Ireland Nepal Netherlands and the Philippines.

Various rebel groups have been engaged in intense fighting with the Syrian military in and near the Golan Heights.

Also Saturday a Syrian activist released a video showing extremists from the Islamic State group opening fire and killing dozens of men stripped down to their underwear.

The men in the video were likely those who were captured after the extremists overran a Syrian airfield on Sunday; Syrian soldiers who were stuck behind front lines after the northeastern Tabqa air base fell to the Islamic State group.

The video released by a Russia-based activist who uses the name Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi corresponded with The Associated Press reporting of the event. It matched a series of other videos that were released since Wednesday. One video showed the men being held in a concrete-floor room; another showed the men forced to march through a barren landscape in their underwear herded like sheep. Another showed their seemingly lifeless bodies in piles on the ground.

The British-based Observatory earlier said around 120 captive government troops from Tabqa were killed near the base.

There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.

The Islamic State group uses violence and images of violence from mass-killings to beheadings to instill fear in its opponents and win recruits as it seeks to expand a proto-state it has carved out in Syria and Iraq.


Oliver Teves reported from Manila. Associated Press reporter Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin and Peter Enav in Jerusalem contributed reporting.


Arab News

  MENA News Headlines
 Oct 8 2015 - UK official says Russia making situation in Syria more dangerousKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) UK Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, called on Russia Thursday to stop supporting the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and to stop the regime from bombing ...

 Oct 8 2015 - EP calls for intØ¢'l protection for E.JerusalemKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The European Parliament called Thursday East Jerusalem to be placed under immediate international protection after a series of violent clashes have left several ...

 Oct 8 2015 - USD to drop further as profit raise postpones - analystKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The rate of the US dollar is expected to drop against the main currencies in time of weakening expectations on the raise of profit rates in the US before the end ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Israeli forces arrests 40 Palestinians in West BankKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Forty Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli force during an operation in the West Bank, said a statement by the Palestinian prisoners club Thursday.According ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Syrian Army: Russian airstrikes reduced ISIL fighting capabilitiesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Airstrikes by Russian warplanes reduced fighting capabilities of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria, the Syrian Armed Forces Commander ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Western, Russian intervention in Syria making matters worse - Arab LeagueKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Western and Russian intervention in Syria will not end the war and will not eliminate presence of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), said ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Kuwait- Light rain, dust for Thursday evening weather - forecastKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Light rain and dust is expected for the weather Kuwait Thursday's evening, said a weather forecast official.Deputy head of Kuwait weather forecast department, ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Jewish settler stabbed in JerusalemKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) A Jewish man was stabbed Thursday in his upper body in Jerusalem in the third stabbing attack in just over 24 hours.Haaretz newspaper said on its website that a ...

 Oct 8 2015 - OPEC oil price up to USD 48.24 pbKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The OPEC daily basket price went up Wednesday USD 2.16 and stood at USD 48.24 per barrel (pb) compared with USD 46.08 pb the previous day, the cartel said here on ...

 Oct 8 2015 - Kuwaiti seeks Costa Rica's support to get non-Permanent UNSC seatKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) A Kuwaiti Parliamentary friendship group sought Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solis' support to help Kuwait obtain a non-permanent seat at the UN Security ...




Click to Apply


Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help