Irish peace keeping soldiers have been praised for their bravery after they rescued Filipino colleagues in Syria.
The Irish troops fought off Islamic militants as they went to the aid of soldiers trapped for three days at a UN base.
The Irish Sun reports that the 44th Infantry Battalion soldiers took on the extremist al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in the Golan Heights.
The militia had attacked the UN base which is manned by Filipino peacekeepers.
A Quick Reaction Force from the Irish Army was despatched to rescue the Filipino team after they were surrounded by fundamentalists.
A spokesman for the Defence Forces told the Irish Sun: “There have been no casualties on our side.
“They were deployed into a volatile and dangerous situation.”
A total of 130 Irish troops are currently station on the Golan Heights as part of a UN peacekeeping force.
The al-Nusra Front had seized 44 Fijian peacekeepers on Friday from their base in the area because they were providing medical treatment to wounded Syrian government soldiers.
The report says a 34-strong Irish Quick Reaction Force with MOWAG armoured vehicles was rapidly deployed to the scene to rescue remaining Fijians and safely escort them back to Camp Faourar.
A source confirmed to the paper that Irish troops had ‘discharged their weapons’ in response and successfully fought off the militants.
A Defence Forces spokesman said: “One hundred and thirty members of the 44th Infantry Division are based in Camp Faourar, which is based 15km from the zone of separation.
“There have been two occasions in the past 24 hours that the Irish Quick Reaction Force has been deployed to extract UNDOF troops from UN positions that had been compromised by attacking elements.
“Irish troops were tasked with securing a withdrawal route and reinforcing UN positions. Both extractions were a success and there were no casualties on our side.”
The spokesman described the perilous conditions the Irish troops operated in.
He said: “Yesterday they were deployed into a volatile and dangerous situation. It was quite dangerous but it is not the first time Irish troops have found themselves in such situations.
“As it is an ongoing operation, for operational security reasons I can’t comment on their exact location.
“Not all of the 130 troops took part in the operation, just a section of them. I can confirm that all Irish troops are safe and accounted for.”
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