The Philippines has announced that it will no longer participate in the UNDOF observer force in the Golan Heights, bringing an end to five years of military presence in the frontier between Israel and Syria.
President Begnino Aquino says that the spillover violence from the Syrian Civil War has made the UNDOF mission “impossible,” and simply too dangerous for the military to participate.
Philippines troops involved in the deployment to Golan clashed with Jabhat al-Nusra in late August before being rescued by Irish troops. 45 Fijian troops from UNDOF were also captured in the Nusra takeover of the region.
With Nusra apparently in Golan to stay, it’s hard to imagine that the UN is going to find many nations that are willing to be involved in “observing” the status of the Israel-Syria border, and the need to monitor a Syria ceasefire is unclear since it’s the Israel al-Qaeda border at this point.