04-12-2022 10:56 PM Jerusalem Timing

Filipino UN Peacekeepers in Golan Clash with Militants

Filipino UN Peacekeepers in Golan Clash with Militants

Philippine UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights clashed with militants who have been for more than three years waging insurgency against Damascus.

Philippine UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights clashed with militants who have been for more than three years waging insurgency against Damascus.

Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin said an SMS statement to reporters that the Filipino troops had been "extricated" from one of their two positions but added that another group of Filipino soldiers "is now under attack".Philippine Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin

He was referring to two positions on the Golan Heights where more than 70 Filipino troops had previously been surrounded by insurgents.

The peacekeepers were besieged by militants on Thursday but defied demands that they give up their weapons. On Friday the foreign-backed militants took 43 Fijian soldiers hostage on the Golan Heights.

Asked if there was a fresh firefight Saturday, Gazmin in Manila replied: "Yes".
He said the clash took place at "6:00 am, Syria time," but added that "morale is high" among the troops.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala later told AFP that "there is still an ongoing standoff but there was a firefight earlier today".

"All our troops are safe," he said, adding that the defense minister and head of the military were monitoring developments. He declined to elaborate further on the incident.