Sunday 22 October 2017

More than 100 Irish troops to be sent to Syria

Tom Brady, Security Editor

More than a hundred Irish peacekeeping troops are to be sent to Syria in the coming weeks.

Deployment was approved this afternoon by the Cabinet and the Dail is expected to sanction the move on Thursday.

The troops will join the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (Undof) in Syria and will occupy posts on the Golan Heights.

The Irish will be given the role of acting as the force mobile reserve and will be called in as reinforcements as well as carrying out escorts and taking part in other operations.

The United Nations is understood to have requested the participation of the Irish  soldiers following the decision by the Austrian government to end its military involvement in the mission.

Defence Minister Alan Shatter said the Undof mission remained an important element in ensuring some level of stability in the region.

The deployment will bring the strength of the mission up to the authorised level of 1,250 personnel.

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