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Coveney worried by mortar attack

Published 04/05/2015

Simon Coveney said the safety of Irish Defence Forces is his priority
Simon Coveney said the safety of Irish Defence Forces is his priority

Defence Minster Simon Coveney has voiced concerns about mortar bombs being launched into the Golan Heights where Irish peacekeeping troops are stationed.

Two United Nations peacekeepers were wounded in the latest fire on the Israeli-occupied territory from neighbouring Syria.

While Mr Coveney confirmed no Irish soldiers were caught up in the incident, he warned the situation remained volatile, where the Irish 46th Infantry Group is based at Camp Ziouani.

"I am fully aware that peacekeeping operations are not without risk, however the safety of our troops is my priority," he said.

"I am concerned at the recent incidents and will continue to monitor developments in the region."

The Irish Defence Forces has been in the Golan Heights since 2013, acting as a quick reaction force, on stand-by to help the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

Along with troops from Fiji, India, Nepal and the Netherlands, they monitor a ceasefire line that has separated Israelis from Syrians for more than four decades.

The Israeli military said the latest mortar bombs launched into the Golan Heights today appeared to be stray fire from the conflict in Syria.

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