After a decade serving… Irish peacekeepers withdraw from southern Syria

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The Irish Peace Regiment, which operates within the United Nations Forces to Monitor Disengagement (UNDOF), withdrew from its positions in the Quneitra countryside and the Yarmouk Basin, at the Syrian and Israeli Occupied Golan heights.

Local sources reported that a convoy consisting of ten cars belonging to the Irish force left the points in the Quneitra countryside, followed by the withdrawal of nine other cars carrying about fifty personnel, and headed towards the capital, Damascus, in a march that took about half an hour.

The sources indicated that the main points and towns where the Irish force was stationed were: Hadar, Jabbata, al Hurriya, al Hamidiyeh, Khan Arnaba, Juba, Buraiqa, Bir al Ajam, Ruwayhinah, the ruined Quneitra city, al Qahtaniyah, Kudna, al Rafid, Ghadeer al Bustan, al Mu’allaqa, Jumla, Nafi’a and Ain Dhakr.

About 280,000 pieces of equipment worth about 23 million Euros are scheduled to be shipped to Ireland by sea, and this shipment includes 14 armored personnel carriers, each weighing about 20 tons.

The Irish Ministry of Defense had previously announced its intention to withdraw its forces since the beginning of this month, after ten years of their presence in Syria, due to the lack of forces necessary to continue missions outside the country.

This decision comes after the statements of Colonel Oliver Clare, commander of the Irish Peace Regiment in the occupied Syrian Golan area, at the end of last month, about the escalation of tensions on the border between Syria and Israel significantly since the beginning of the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip last October.

Since its arrival in Syria five months ago as the 68th Infantry, the Irish force has been subjected to air strikes four times, forcing it to take shelter in fortified shelters.

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