Fianna Fáil Whip and Spokesperson on Defence Seán Ó Fearghaíl has called on Defence Minister Alan Shatter to spell out what additional risk assessment has been carried out and what assurances he has sought from the UN ahead of our Defence Forces’ mission in the Golan Heights. He has sought new reassurance on the safety of Irish troops in the context of recent events in the region.
In July the Dáil voted to approve the deployment of members of the Defence Forces to the Golan Heights with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria.
Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented: “We support the UN mission in the Golan Heights and while there was considerable concern expressed in the Dáil last month for the ongoing civil war in Syria it was felt that there was enough stability in the region and confidence in the UN mission to support the deployment of over 100 members of the Defence Forces to the observer mission. However, given the escalating military build-up in the Mediterranean and the changing stance of the US and UK, military action against the Assad government looks more and more likely as each day passes.
“This would significantly change the context of the conflict in Syria and could destabilise the UN mission in the Golan Heights. With that in mind, we are asking the Minister to set out clearly what additional risk assessments are being undertaken and what assurances he has sought from the UN regarding the safety and sustainability of UNDOF at this time, before any Irish troops are sent to the region.”