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Thread: Unifil(3)

  1. #1126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasia View Post
    To keep weapons north of the Litani, as UNSCR 1701 requires, needs a far more robust mission than the UNIFIL mandate provides. The shit storm it would create if UNIFIL went heavy handed would cripple the mission in its current guise. Everything UNIFIL does is done with the permission of the locals. Hezbollah enjoys massive support in South Lebanon. Piss them off at your peril.
    Does the LAF take the same approach?

    Considering Hezbollah is in Government in Lebanon

  2. #1127
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Does the LAF take the same approach?

    Considering Hezbollah is in Government in Lebanon
    Yes.

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  4. #1128
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    There was a very interesting documentary on TG 4; it may have been the Fiorsceal series and it showed how close Christians and Hizbollah supporters live in Beirut and the way they live their lives. Hizbollah dominate virtually all Muslim districts, at the point of a gun and can raise a protest mob at the drop of a hat. Non-attendance is not tolerated and anyone can be a target, especially Lebanese officialdom of any form (cops, firemen, govt officials and so on). In one case, Christians and Hizbollah supporters lived about 50 feet apart and would routinely let off a burst or two at each other, so all buildings facing each other had bricked up windows, sheet metal dividers cutting streets in half and guns always ready. One bizarre thing was the custom of using underground car parks and the bottom floors of apartment buildings as cemetries! I kid you not. They couldnt or wouldnt be seperated from their dead, so they used the abovementioned as cemetries and took over derelict buildings and dug out graves at the bottom levels or raised tombs over their dead. The Lebanese Govt was only tolerated at the whim of the Hizbollah leadership and the Leb army clearly did not want to go toe to toe with them, so essentially, a huge part of Lebanon is not under it's own control. The UN knows perfectly well that if the Israelis dont want a shooting war with Hizbollah, then trying to get the Irish or any other UN force to take them on would be tantamount to suicide.

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  6. #1129
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    There was a very interesting documentary on TG 4; it may have been the Fiorsceal series and it showed how close Christians and Hizbollah supporters live in Beirut and the way they live their lives. Hizbollah dominate virtually all Muslim districts, at the point of a gun and can raise a protest mob at the drop of a hat. Non-attendance is not tolerated and anyone can be a target, especially Lebanese officialdom of any form (cops, firemen, govt officials and so on). In one case, Christians and Hizbollah supporters lived about 50 feet apart and would routinely let off a burst or two at each other, so all buildings facing each other had bricked up windows, sheet metal dividers cutting streets in half and guns always ready. One bizarre thing was the custom of using underground car parks and the bottom floors of apartment buildings as cemetries! I kid you not. They couldnt or wouldnt be seperated from their dead, so they used the abovementioned as cemetries and took over derelict buildings and dug out graves at the bottom levels or raised tombs over their dead. The Lebanese Govt was only tolerated at the whim of the Hizbollah leadership and the Leb army clearly did not want to go toe to toe with them, so essentially, a huge part of Lebanon is not under it's own control. The UN knows perfectly well that if the Israelis dont want a shooting war with Hizbollah, then trying to get the Irish or any other UN force to take them on would be tantamount to suicide.
    The Yanks, Brits, French and Italians of the MNTF withdrew from Beirut, despite their MBTs, battleships and aircraft carriers. The IDF and all their might failed. Expecting a poorly armed and resourced UNIFIL that has its budget slashed in recent years to achieve what all of these could not is preposterous.

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  8. #1130
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    UN orders mission extension for 400 Irish peacekeepers

    Government to assess UN secretary general’s order aimed at containing Covid-19



    The UN has suspended the rotation home of more than 400 Irish peacekeepers deployed in Lebanon and Mali in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

    However, the Irish Government may ask that Irish troops be exempted from the order which applies to all countries contributing troops to peacekeeping operations globally.

    The order means 380 peacekeeping troops in Lebanon and 13 members of the Army Ranger Wing deployed on an anti-terrorism mission in Mali could have their homecoming delayed until at least June 30th.

    It may also affect much smaller Defence Forces contingents in Congo and Western Sahara and 12 gardaí serving with the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.

    On Tuesday, United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres announced peacekeepers on mission would not return home until June 30th, even if their tours end before then. The deployment of new troops will also be delayed. The aim is to prevent troops carrying the virus home to their countries and replacement troops carrying it to mission areas.

    “Our peacekeeping missions are working full-time to contain and mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Our priorities are to ensure the Covid-19-free status of incoming uniformed personnel, and mitigate the risk that UN peacekeepers could be a contagion vector and simultaneously maintain our operational capabilities,” a spokeswoman for Mr Guterres said.

    Irish troops in Lebanon on the Unifil mission are due to be replaced at the end of May, meaning they face an extra month on mission. The 13 ARW members in Mali were due to rotate home at the end of April, meaning their tour may be extended for two months.

    “The department and the Defence Forces are currently examining the implications of the UN decision on those rotations,” a Department of Defence spokeswoman said.

    “There is ongoing engagement within the mission and with mission commanders to ensure that rotations can take place as close as possible to the original planned dates in accordance with the direction of the UN secretary general.”

    No final decision
    The Defence Forces said no final decision had been made on the Irish side and officials were considering whether to make a request that Irish troops be exempted from the order.

    A spokesman said a decision would be made shortly as to whether Ireland would comply with the UN order or ask for an exemption.

    The UN has said exemptions may be considered on a country-by-country basis.

    “A few, limited exceptions may be considered,” a UN spokeswoman said. “But only in extenuating circumstances on the basis of strict conditions to prevent the spread of the virus,”

    The UN has confirmed all troops on extended missions will continue to be paid the standard peacekeeping allowance.

    The order will not affect the 122 troops from the 60th Infantry Group serving with the Undof mission in the Golan Heights in Syria. Soldiers from the mission returned home on Saturday and were replaced by a contingent which will remain in Syria for the next six months.

    The returning troops are in a two-week period of self-isolation. Most are at home with families but a small number with relatives vulnerable to Covid-19 have moved into barracks for the duration.
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...pers-1.4224361

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  10. #1131
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    Unifil mission for 350 Irish troops extended until July

    Irish soldiers will spend an extra six weeks in Middle East

    Some 350 Irish troops serving in Lebanon will have to spend an extra six weeks in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The troops were originally due home in the middle of May but this was thrown into doubt when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres banned rotations of all UN peacekeepers until June 30th to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    Since then negotiations have been ongoing between the Irish Government and UN headquarters in New York to secure an exemption for the Irish troops on the Unifil mission in Lebanon who have been in the middle-eastern country for the last six months.

    However, family members received news on Wednesday that the troops will not return until the end of June, adding another six weeks to their mission.

    Defence sources suggested there is a small chance this date could be brought forward pending further negotiations.

    The 350 soldiers are likely to be rotated home on two flights, one at the end of June and one at the start of July. The Defence Forces is expected to charter a flight to rotate the troops.

    Once back in Ireland they will be forced to remain in quarantine for two weeks per HSE and UN guidelines. Furthermore, their replacements will be sent into quarantine in a Defence Forces training facility, most likely in the Glen of Imaal in Co Wicklow, from the middle of June until they deploy two weeks later.

    Mali
    Last month, Irish special forces troops were rotated home from Mali on time, despite the UN’s request for a delay. About 14 Army Ranger Wing personnel were flown home with the help of the German Air Force.

    The Spanish Air force assisted in rotating another seven Irish troops from a separate mission in Mali a week previously.

    Defence sources say it was much easier to rotate those missions on time due to the small numbers of troops involved.

    The UN order affects about 100,000 troops around the world. Officials in New York drew up the order amid fears of a repeat of the UN mission to Haiti in 2010 when peacekeepers brought in cholera, which went on to kill some 10,000.

    The Department of Defence said the Lebanon rotation will take place in two phases, known as “chalks”.

    “The indications at present are that the first chalk will take place in the latter part of June and the second in early July. However, contacts with the UN in New York are continuing about the scope to possibly bring these dates forward,” it said in a statement.

    “The Minister [of State of Defence Paul Kehoe] acknowledges the impact the UN decision has had on Defence Force members, as well as the anxiety that this has caused for families.”

    “In recognition of these impacts, the Departments of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Defence Forces have had extensive engagement with the UN and UNIFIL headquarters in order to ensure these rotations take place as early as possible.”

    “Confirmation of the precise dates is expected very shortly and will be communicated in the first instance by the military authorities to both contingents (the contingent coming home and that going out to Lebanon).”
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...july-1.4252692

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