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Philippines May Pull Peacekeepers From Golan Heights

Man reads a statement as four abducted Filipino UN peacekeepers are seen in Daraa, Syria, May 9, 2013.a
The Philippine government is considering pulling all of its members of a UN peacekeeping team out of the Golan Heights, after four of them were kidnapped by Syrian rebels.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Friday that he had recommended to President Benigno Aquino that the more than 300 peacekeepers be pulled out of the region. Del Rosario told reporters that if Aquino approves it, the pullout would be conducted as soon as possible.

Syrian rebels seized the four Philippine service members at an observation post in the Golan Heights on Tuesday, only two months after freeing 21 Filipino soldiers, who were abducted by the same group and held for four days.

Del Rosario called the abduction a violation of international law and said Filipinos should not be subjected to those tactics.