A day after the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria justified the actions of its force commander — Lt General Iqbal Singh Singha — at Golan Heights where 44 Fijian nationals have been captured by a Syrian rebel group, UN’s Under-Secretary-General Herve Ladsous came out in support of the mission leadership on Thursday.
Replying to the Filipino military’s allegations that Singha ordered Filipino peacekeepers in UNDOF to lay down their weapons — thus risking their lives — to ensure the safety of abducted Fiji peacekeepers, Ladsous said the UNDOF leadership did not pass the order.
“Our peacekeepers have shown considerable steadfastness and courage at all levels and I would like in particular to recognise the force commander General Singha, who displayed complete professionalism and strong leadership in making decisions…he is utterly to be commended and I place on the record my full trust in the way he performed his duty,” Ladsous was quoted as saying at a UN press conference.
Replying to questions on whether Filipino troops were ordered “not to resist” the rebel group, Ladsous said there were no such orders.
The UN backing the Indian Lt General is likely to weaken the case of the Filipino military which has demanded probe against the Indian officer’s order during the operation last week.