Home » Uncategorized » Phillipino Soldiers ……The Israeli government – whose military force is among the most elite in the world – described as “world-class” for the actions they took after being surrounded and fired at by Syrian separatists in the Golan Heights.

Phillipino Soldiers ……The Israeli government – whose military force is among the most elite in the world – described as “world-class” for the actions they took after being surrounded and fired at by Syrian separatists in the Golan Heights.

 

Holding their ground

MANILA: “World-class”. No, we’re not talking about that controversial building in Makati, but something more edifying: our soldiers serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Syria, whom the Israeli government – whose military force is among the most elite in the world – described as “world-class” for the actions they took after being surrounded and fired at by Syrian separatists in the Golan Heights.

Those actions included holding their ground and not ceding an inch, even after 45 Fijian soldiers, also UN peacekeepers, were seized by the rebels.

According to reports, the 40-member Filipino contingent faced an assault from more than 100 gunmen who besieged them with mortar rounds and rammed trucks armed with anti-aircraft guns into the gates of their encampment.

In self-defence, the Filipinos returned fire, in keeping with their UN mandate to respond only when fired at.

The standoff lasted seven hours, the Filipinos losing not one soldier. It was only when night fell that they had a chance to escape, reportedly travelling two more hours over chilly and hilly terrain before they met up with other UN forces and were guided out of harm’s way.

Their escape happened in the nick of time.

“If they held their ground, they could have been massacred because they were already running low on ammunition,” revealed Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

“So we discussed with them the option of escape and evasion.”

For their daring and gallantry, the soldiers have garnered praise from local and international quarters, Philippine military chief Gen Gregorio Pio Catapang even calling it, with more than a bit of breathlessness, as “the greatest escape” (in comparison to what, he didn’t say).

One thing is clear as new details have emerged about their bold getaway – there was much more to the Filipino peacekeepers’ accomplishment than their successful physical removal of themselves from enemy sights.

There was greater human drama involved, and some of it raises questions about how the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or Undof, is run.

It turns out that the Filipino soldiers’ decision to hold their ground was in contravention of an order by the UN peacekeeping commander in the Golan Heights, Lt Gen Iqbal Singh Singha, for them to surrender their arms in exchange for the release of the 45 Fijian soldiers earlier abducted by a Syrian rebel group called the Nusra Front, allegedly affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Singha, an Indian national, was said to be in talks with the rebels for the release of the Fijians, on the condition that the Filipinos would surrender their position, in effect putting them in serious danger of being overrun, abducted or killed by the rebels.

Catapang, who was in communication with the Filipino troops, advised them to defy the order. The wisdom of that advice can be seen in the aftermath: All 40 Filipino soldiers were able to escape the Syrians’ dragnet, along with 32 other Filipino troops also trapped and then extracted from a nearby camp by Irish peacekeepers; the Fijians, however, are still held by the Nusra Front, which has posted statements and photos on militant websites of their captives’ military uniforms and identification cards.

They were seized, according to the group, in retaliation for the UN’s inaction to help the rebels in their uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The escalation of tension and violence has led some countries to withdraw their troops from the UN peacekeeping force, which at present counts troops from six countries: Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands and the Philippines.

The Filipino forces are expected to complete their mission in the Golan Heights by October, but will not be returning following the recommendation of the Foreign Affairs department to President Aquino that the 300 Filipino peacekeepers be withdrawn given the deteriorating situation.

 

28 thoughts on “Phillipino Soldiers ……The Israeli government – whose military force is among the most elite in the world – described as “world-class” for the actions they took after being surrounded and fired at by Syrian separatists in the Golan Heights.

  1. VEI KEMUDRAU TEIMUMU KEI QARASE..SA RUI SIVIA NA VEILASUTAKI….KEIMAMI SA SOSA NAI TAUKEI NA LASUTAKI….A CAVA O SA BAU CAKAVA VEI KEIMAMI NAI TAUKEI NA GAUNA O A MINISTER TU KINA NI VULI OP IKO TEIMUMU…SEGA NI DUA NA KA…O IKO QARASE O SEGA NI MADUA NA LASUTAKI KEIMAMI TIKO NAI TAUKEI…O BUTAKOCI KEIMAMI NAI TAUKEI…FIJIAN HOLDIN FDB….O SEGA NI MADUTAKI IKO ENA I TOVO VAKALOLOMA O CAKAVA TIKO VEI KEIMAMI NAI TAUKEI..SA RAUTA NA VEIVAKALOLOMATAKI

  2. tukuna mada mai na yacamu o iko asshole…dont talk about qarase and roteimumu….they r much better than u

  3. TUKUNA MADA MAI LIU NA YACAMU O IKO LUVENI MAGAIJINAMU…KE SEGA IO O SONA LEVU TALE GA ME VAKATAKI AU…EDA SA SONA LEVU VATA KECE GA…EDA SA SONA QARA LELEVU VATA KECE GA…WAQAVONOVONO CAIJI TAMAMU LUVENI QAURI..QARAUNI IKO TIKO…NA NOMU I CICI QORI ENA CURU KINA E DUA NA TABANI TAVIOKA..

  4. to ANONYMOUS writing in capital letters, O IKO DUA NA TAMATA LIALIA. You must be one of Bainimarama’s BAVULU F/Family, same genes of shooting from the mouth such FILTH. O iko o SETANI.

  5. Leave the idiot alone and don’t comment on his posts. Isolate the luveni ulukau…because your comments encourage him…shows him that someone cares.

  6. O KEDA KECE EDA VOLAVOLA TIKO EKE EDA TAMATA BAVULU KA SESE ME VAKATAKI AU…NA VANUA QO SA RUI SIVIA KINA NA BENU SA RUI BONA..EDA SA TAMATA LIALIA KECE GA…SA DA LIALIA MADA QAI DA SONA QARA LELEVU VATA KECE GA NI DA SEGA NI RAWA NI DA VAKARAITAKA TIKO NA YACADA DINA….WE ARE A LOAD OF LOW DOWN COWARDS…WE R A LOAD OF LOOSERS……

  7. LOSALINI LUVENI SETANI O TAMAMU KEI QARASE NA LUVENI KAWA NI BUTABUTAKO KEI PITA WAQAVONOVONO NI VEISAUTAKA TIKO NAI CICI ME MAGA NA LUVENI QAURI QASE

  8. i think this gorvenment is the best one fiji has ever had since independant….it has done so much for the people of this country…i wish it could run for another 10 or 20 years ….i have no single doubt in my mind that it be on level par with australia and new zealand if given another 10 or 20 years…god bless fiji

  9. oh yes…i would love to see what it would do in the next 10 or 20 years..im not a supporter of this gorvenment but im happy with the developments it has done so far

  10. i hate the swearing going on in this blogsite….its hell on earth….it shows the inner pain some people are going through …the pain and wound inflicted by some politicians who claim be championing the taukeis…we r suppose to understand …but they have other means to show your grief…the depth of the swearing just shows how deep the wound is..lets pray for our country

  11. Can we please control our emotions and not freely abuse and downgrade people’s status in the most slanderous of character. Could the blog administrator also be more civil and show some maturity towards our desire to building a truly multi racial society?.
    The swears and sexual abuses are not needed in educated discourses.

  12. Bring our boys home! There is a lot to do right here in Fiji, our soldiers should be right here and make sure that Khaiyum’s Fiji First gets all seats in parliament. Our boys are much better at intimidating and torturing unarmed civilians than in dealing with these unruly, armed islamists. Khaiyum’s rule will ensure that we will never have islamists in Fiji.

  13. This current regime should be blamed squarely for sending troops to their deaths in Syria. People will have that in mind when we go to the polls. Indians, Muslims and other races now realize that voting for a party other than Fiji First is the only way, they will win back Taukei trust and good will. Fiji First is a deluded party that is being led by a cowardly leader who has neither tact nor basic principles, and is now established to be the principal architect behind 2000 coup, which was the precursor to his 2006 takeover. All this hogwash about multiracialism and other bullshit have been smokescreen all along. Meanwhile Fiji Farkedup Party is being taken for a ride by their so-called supporters attending their rallies, family days etc. Come voting they will decimate this FF party. This is Fiji afterall and the history of national elections has seen some nasty surprises for presumptuous and pompous pretenders.

    Come on all Fijians, let’s continue to lead Fiji First astray. Attend their rallies, milk all the promises/goodies they can give, but come voting we are not stupid. This is the only chance to form a multi-party or grand coalition against FF, and the opportunity to bury our differences once and for all. Vote NFP/FLP/SODELPA/OneFiji BUT NOT A CONTINUATION OF THIS FIJI FIRST EVIL, COWARD LED REGIME WHICH IS SACRIFICING THE LIVES OF OUR SOLDIERS IN SYRIA. GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS.

  14. People should understand why this government are doing all these left, right, centre for instance upgrading roads, handouts,etc, for Fiji because it has no opposition to challenge them. In a democratic government you won’t see this happening because there will be lots of opposition since a lot of money are involved here.

    THIS SHOULD BE A GOOD ARGUMENT POINT FOR SODELPA & OTHER PARTIES

    Fiji first Party Supporters, please tell your leaders stop fooling the public because you are doing what you can do without any restrictions or oppositions and our future generations will have to foot the bill in US currency from money borrowed in Chinese currency.

  15. Lies by Frank Bainimarama

    Lie No. 1: On 6 January 2007, Commodore Bainimarama in accepting the appointment of interim prime minister promised that he would continue to receive only one salary – that of RFMF Commander. Now we know that he has had multiple salaries, including being the most highly paid politician in Fiji’s History. From releasing convicted criminals to outright theft, Corruption in Fiji is the worst that we have ever seen.

    Lie No. 2: Bainimarama declared that no one in the Army would benefit from the 2006 military intervention; however, we know that top Army officials are holding executive positions in the civil service and receiving highly inflated annual salaries of approximately $¼ million. For example, Pio Tikoduadua, PS in the Prime Minister’s office and Francis Kean, PS Ministry of Works now get $221,894 a year, Lt Col Vaniqi gets $160,000 a year while the pays of Ministers Inia Seruiratu and Timoci Natuva in the Cabinet are being kept secret from the public as is the pay of other cabinet ministers.

    Lie No. 3: Bainimarama promised good governance based on transparency and accountability. In over 7 years, there has been none – they refuse to obey the law, their own decrees and worse, refuse to acknowledge their own mistakes and mismanagement of the nation.

    Lie No. 4: Bainimarama promised both the people of Fiji and the International community that elections would be held in March 2009; but then in April 2009, he abrogated the Constitution and said elections would not be held for another five years – and now we see the fruits of their schemes.

    Lie No. 6: Bainimarama swore on oath to uphold the Constitution but had no hesitation abrogating it to save his own skin from prosecution. He then promised a new constitution under a process that would be inclusive and participatory. But then, the draft constitution written by the Ghai Constitution Commission after widespread consultation with the people was trashed by Bainimarama – without any explanation.

    …more to come.

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