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Dozens of UN troops trapped by Syrian rebels freed under fire


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dozens-of-un-troops-trapped-by-syrian-rebels-freed-under-fireTimes of Israel:

Irish forces free captive Filipino peacekeepers; 75 UN soldiers flee to Israel to escape the rebels

Times of Israel staff, AP and AFP

August 30, 2014



A UN peacekeeper runs past vehicles at the UN headquarters next to the Quneitra crossing, the only border crossing between Israel and Syria, in the Golan Heights on August 30, 2014 (Photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)


Around three dozen Filipino UN peacekeepers surrounded and trapped by Syrian rebels for the past few days were rescued under fire by other UN forces, news agencies reported Saturday evening.


Irish UNDOF soldiers participated in the rescue efforts, according to a statement by the Irish forces.




Earlier Saturday 75 UNDOF peacekeepers in the Golan Heights fled Syrian territory for the Israeli-controlled Golan after their positions were attacked by rebel forces.


An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that a number of UN peacekeepers entered Israel. He spoke on condition of anonymity. Channel 2 said 75 UN troops had crossed the borders, after two UN positions on the Syrian side of the border were targeted by al-Nusra rebel forces.


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Islamic Front and Al Nusrah Front promote 'liberation' of border crossing
Thomas Joscelyn
August 29, 2014


In a series of posts on their official Twitter feeds, the Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front are promoting the "liberation" of the Quneitra border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights. The Islamic Front is a coalition of several rebel groups, including Ahrar al Sham, which is linked to al Qaeda. The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda's official branch inside Syria.

Both organizations have produced video tours of Quneitra, showcasing the defeat of Bashar al Assad's forces and their control over the area. The alliance of Islamist and jihadist groups launched a military offensive in Quneitra earlier this week.

The video shown above was released on one of Al Nusrah's official Twitter feeds. Toward the beginning of the video, a narrator says that "your brothers" in Al Nusrah will attack Quneitra because it is controlled by Assad's army and is a "strategic point" connecting Syria to the Golan Heights, which has been "occupied by the Jews" for nearly 50 years.


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