Syrian Death Squad Invaders Seize UN Peacekeepers
by Stephen Lendman
At this writing, efforts to secure their release continue. Reports suggest freeing them on Saturday likely.
UN officials hoped to do so Friday. Unsafe conditions and darkness delayed things. So does dealing with rogue killers.
They're not rebels. They're Western-recruited hired guns. They're heavily armed, trained, funded and directed. They're proxy US assassins.
They're death squads. They're cold-blooded killers. They're imported from abroad.
At issue is regime change. Washington wants subservient puppet leadership replacing Assad. Plans are longstanding. They're unchanged.
Insurgents reveal their true face multiple ways. They're bitting the hand that's feeding them. More on that below.
UN Blue Helmets are more paramilitaries than peacekeepers. The UN calls their mission "a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace."
They're supposed to monitor withdrawal of combatants, build confidence, enforce power-sharing agreements, provide electoral support, aid reconstruction, enforce rule of law principles, maintain order, and help facilitate economic and social development.
They fail on all counts. They do more harm than good. They're imperial enforcers. They're occupiers. They operate extrajudicially. They commit high crimes. They do so repeatedly.
They began in 1948. UNTSO monitored the first of two failed Arab-Israeli truces. Its operation remains ongoing. Peace was never achieved.
The UN plays no active role. UNTSO wastes money. It's little more than worthless window dressing. It does what it wishes. Israel has full control.
Security Council Resolution 350 (May 1974) established UNDOF: UN (Golan Heights) Disengagement Force.
Nearly 39 years later it remains. It wastes time and money. It takes up space. It accomplishes nothing. Israel's in control.
Today its force strength numbers about 1,000. It's comprised of Austrian, Croatian, Indian and Philippines soldiers. Filipino ones were taken captive.
On March 6, world headlines said Syrian opposition forces seized a convoy of peacekeepers. They operated in Golan.
Insurgents said they'll hold them until Assad's forces withdraw from Syrian territory. Demanding it was outrageous.
Syria is sovereign territory. Assad defends it responsibly. He's obligated to do so. It's his job.
Peacekeepers were seized the same day Britain announced increased aid. Two days later, London's Telegraph headlined "US and Europe in major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb."
Washington coordinates everything. It's done so since conflict began. US media scoundrels say nothing. They support imperial lawlessness.
The Telegraph said 75 planeloads carried 3,000 tons of weapons. Amounts supplied are far greater than suspected. They include rocket launchers, recoilless guns, M79 anti-tank weapons and others.
"The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organized through Turkey and Jordan, Syria's neighbors."
Weapons also came "from several other European countries including Britain."
British military advisers are involved. So are their French counterparts, US Special Forces and CIA operatives.
Arab League leaders urged member states to do more. They invited opposition officials to take Syria's seat. They want them for a late March Doha meeting. In November 2011, Assad's government was suspended.
Doing so supports Washington's imperium. Most League members brutalize their own people. They're attacked for resisting political, economic and social injustice.
Israel said it won't "stand idle" as Syria's conflict spills into Golan. UN officials said over two dozen Blue Helmets were taken hostage.
Ban Ki-moon demanded their immediate release. He ignores their gruesome atrocities. He's done so all along. He's a shameless imperial tool. He's complicit in crimes of war and against humanity.
A UN statement said they "were on a regular supply mission and were stopped near Observation Post 58, which had sustained damage and was evacuated this past weekend following heavy combat in close proximity at Al Jamla."
It's a village where fierce clashes occurred.
On March 8, the UN News Center headlined "Blue helmets seized in Golan safe but remain captive - UN peacekeeping chief."
Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, said "21 peacekeepers are detained in the village of Al Jamla."
"Apparently they are safe and they have been spread into 4 or 5 locations within that village in the basement of various houses."
"That particular village is subject to intense shelling by the Syrian armed forces."
"Of course we are working 24/7 in the area of operation, with people in the region, and here in the Secretariat, to secure their release under good conditions as quickly as possible."
"As of now there is, perhaps, a hope - but I have to be extremely cautious because it is not done yet - but there is the possibility that a ceasefire of a few hours can intervene which will allow for people to be released."
UNDOF Blue Helmets left nearby positions. They did so as a precautionary measure. They weren't accomplishing anything anyway.
They had no business being there in the first place. Perhaps UN officials will reconsider who's friend and foe. Assad's forces cooperate.
Death squads can't be trusted. Most Security Council members support them. Fighting in Syria rages.
Laddous urged a brief ceasefire. He hoped doing so would expedite release of captive peacekeepers. Syrian military units were falsely accused of shelling areas where they're held. They're cooperating responsibly with UN officials. They're trying to rescue Blue Helmets.
Captors call themselves Martyrs of Yarmounk. An Arabic video said they're "holding UN disengagement forces in Golan Heights, until the forces of Bashar Al Assad withdraw from the outskirts of the village of Jamla back to their positions."
"We call on the US and the United Nations and the Security Council."
"We call on them to get Assad forces out in order to release these forces."
"We will not release them until after the Assad forces have withdrawn from the border village of Jamla back to their positions, and if they do not withdraw back within 24 hours, we will deal with these forces as prisoners."
Russian UN ambassador spoke for other Security Council members, saying:
"The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained UN peacekeepers and called (sic) upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel."
Churkin urged countries able to influence opposition fighters to demand immediate release.
Syria's UN ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, said Syrian forces risk their lives to free them. "We know where (they) are, and we know what we are doing," he said. "We are paying a huge price for their safety."
"The Syrian government forces are doing exactly what they have to do in order to bring back safely the peacekeepers,guarantee the safety and security of the inhabitants of these villages (and) get these armed group terrorists out of the area."
They're death squad invaders. They terrorize and kill. They commit gruesome atrocities. They target innocent men, women, children, the elderly and infirm. It's high time UN officials admitted it.
Saturday reports suggest Blue Helmets will be freed. UN officials announced it. Details are sketchy.
UN spokeswoman, Josephine Guerrero said "arrangements were made with all parties…." A UN team was sent where they're held.
As of early Saturday AM, no deal was reached. Captors demand "a cease fire in the area."
Russia called for an immediate halt to violence. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow's not involved in the regime change game. Washington prioritizes it. Expect no end of conflict soon.
A Final Comment
Early Saturday, clashes erupted near Al Jamla. It's where Blue Helmets are held. Rescue efforts were halted. A two-hour ceasefire window passed.
Updated reports said insurgents took peacekeepers to the Syrian/Jordanian border. Jordanian officials, the UN and International Committee of the Red Cross didn't comment.
No further information is available at this time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour