Austria Begins Withdrawing It's Peacekeepers From The Golan Heights

UN peacekeeping soldiers at Quneitra border crossing between Israel and Syria, June 11, 2013. Photo by Reuters

Austria Begins Withdrawing Peacekeepers From Golan -- Haaretz/Reuters

First group of Austrian troops moves from Quneitra crossing into Israeli part of Golan Heights; disengagement is expected to be completed within weeks.

Austria has begun withdrawing peacekeepers from the Golan Heights, winding down a four-decade mission due to spillover fighting from the Syrian civil war, the Austrian Defense Ministry said.

A Reuters journalist on the Golan said Austrian troops had already moved from the Quneitra crossing point to a United Nations base inside the Israeli-held part of the heights on Tuesday.

"The first 60 to 80 soldiers will land in Vienna tomorrow afternoon, so you can already see the withdrawal on site," Austrian Defense Ministry spokesman Andreas Strobl told Reuters in Vienna.

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Update: Austria’s UN peacekeepers begin pullout from Golan Heights amid fears of Syrian war spillover -- Washington Post/AP

My Comment: This is a troubling development .... with the UN now requesting more time to find replacements.

Update: U.N. says Israel, Syria ceasefire jeopardized by Golan violence -- Reuters

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