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June 7, 2013 8:12 am
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Report: After Austria Pullout Philippines Reviewing its Presence in Golan as Fighting Rages

avatar by Zach Pontz

The Israel-Syria Quneitra border crossing, which was briefly seized by Syrian rebels Thursday, prompting Austria to pulls its peacekeepers there. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Philippines said on Friday it is reviewing its presence in the Golan Heights after a Filipino soldier was wounded, according to Al Arabiya.

Fighting between Syrian regime forces and rebels along Israel’s border with Syria has ratcheted up in recent days as the two sides have fought for control of the Quneitra crossing.

Thursday Austria announced it was withdrawing its troops, a major blow to the UN peacekeeping mission in the region.

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs recommended last month to President Benigno Aquino that the Philippines withdraw because of security concerns, but no decision was made.

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Philippine military chief General Emmanuel Bautista said Friday the decision to pull out was the government’s to make, but his soldiers were prepared for the dangers, AFP reported.

“We can manage any risk, we have gone to areas where we exposed our people to combat,” he was quoted as saying.

“You can’t remove the risk. That is why we are there: to prevent conflict,” he told reporters.

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