August 29, 2013 - The future of the UN force monitoring the line of separation between Israel and Syria following the end of the 1973 war will be further jeopardized by threatened military intervention.
UNDOF has already been hit by the loss of troops from Austria, Croatia and Japan because of repeated attacks and abductions of blue-helmeted forces.
Departing peacekeepers are being replaced by promised contributions from Fiji and Ireland, with the initial contingent of Irish troops set to deploy Sept. 4.
But the threat of intervention is likely to lead the Irish government to delay the deployment, while a western strike inside Syria will see the UN face calls to withdraw its troops by those countries whose forces are currently deployed, leaving behind a dangerous security vacuum on the Israel-Syria border.
- Denis Fitzgerald
Photo: Austrian peacekeepers raise the UN flag on Pitulim Peak on Mt. Hermon following the withdrawal of Israeli Armed Forces, June 1974. UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata