UNITED NATIONS: All the Philippine peacekeepers trapped by Islamist militants on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights have been moved to a secure place, according to the United Nations and the Philippines.
The United Nations said on Sunday the 40 peacekeepers left during a ceasefire agreed with “armed elements” in the area shortly after midnight local time and were moved to a safe place.
Gen Gregorio Catapang, the Philippines’ armed forces chief, told reporters that Israel and Syria helped in what was the “greatest escape” of Filipino troops after engaging about 100 Islamist militants surrounding them in a seven-hour firefight.
The UN peacekeepers escaped in the middle of the night while the rebels were sleeping, he said.
“This attack prompted UNDOF to reposition our troops to a more secure position within the mission area,” Gen Catapang said, referring to the UN peacekeeping force that has monitored the disengagement zone between Israel and Syria since 1974.
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