Croatia To Quit UN Golan Force After Reports of Arms Shipments to Syrian Rebels

By Reuters

Published February 28, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Croatia will pull its soldiers out of the U.N. peace force in the Golan Heights as a precautionary step, the government said on Thursday, after media reports that Croatian arms were being sent to Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

The Croatian government denied the reports and said it had never sold or donated weapons to the rebels, but Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said the damage was already done.

“We can deny over and over again, but everyone has already read these reports and our soldiers are no longer safe. We want them to return home safe and sound,” he told a cabinet meeting. He did not elaborate further on Croatia’s reasons for the move.

Croatia, which joined NATO in 2008, has 98 soldiers in the U.N. force that has helped maintain calm in a demilitarised zone along Syria’s Golan frontier with Israel since a ceasefire that ended the 1973 Middle East war.

The United Nations has warned that the almost two-year-old Syrian civil war, which has killed nearly 70,000 people, could spill over into the sensitive Golan region.

Earlier this week the New York Times and Croatian media said Syrian rebels had been given Croatian armour-piercing grenades, rocket launchers and recoilless cannons, and that these arms had been flown by Jordanian cargo planes from Zagreb airport.

President Ivo Josipovic, the supreme commander of Croatia’s armed forces, said he would order the soldiers to be withdrawn.

“We shall respect Croatia’s international obligations and safety requirements of the soldiers from our partner countries,” a statement by Josipovic’s office said on Thursday.

The United Nations reported on Tuesday that a member of the peace force in the Golan’s demilitarised zone had gone missing.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.