Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers escaped their besieged outpost in the Golan Heights after a seven-hour gunbattle with Syrian rebels, Philippine officials said Sunday. Al-Qaida-linked insurgents still hold captive 45 Fijian troops.
Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers who were surrounded and came under fire by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights made a daring escape, the Philippine military chief Sunday, while 44 Fijian soldiers remained in the hands of the insurgents.
The Dutch government unveiled a package of measures Friday aimed at countering radicalization of Muslims in the country, a day after police announced the arrest of two men suspected of recruiting people to fight in conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
Forty-four Fijian soldiers working as UN peacekeepers remained captive to a militant group in Syria Friday while 75 Philippine soldiers were in tense standoff with the rebels, according to the two Pacific nations.
The civil war in Syria has forced 3 million people out of the country, including more than a million people who fled in the past year, creating a crisis that the UN refugee agency said requires the biggest operation in its 64-year history.
The Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians while the Islamic State group fighting them has committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two provinces, an independent U.N. commission said Wednesday.