Thursday, July 27, 2006

UN observers killed were UNTSO not UNIFIL

I have yet to see any of the reports correct this or the fact that the post was an UNTSO post and not a UNIFIL post. The difference between the two seems to be that UNIFIL is armed and UNTSO is not. There is also a UNTSO media release stating that the fact that the "Patrol Base" and it's men were UNTSO and unarmed.

If you read the email from the Canadian soldier (which many of the reports reference) the first thing he does in the email is introduce himself and states is assignment to UNTSO and it's mission. The reason it matters is UNTSO is yet another, as if we need one, example of how the UN doesn't accomplish anything. UNTSO's mission on it's website is listed as "* To observe and maintain an unconditional cease-fire ordered by the security council, pending the final status peace settlement." and "* To assist the parties in the supervision and observance of the terms of the Armistice Agreements of 1949." Though Major Hess-von Kruedener quotes the mission of his team and OGL (Observer Group Lebanon) as " maintain the integrity of theWithdrawal Line (Blue Line), and report on any and all violations or activities that threaten the cease-fire and international peace and security here along the Lebanese/Israeli border, and Israeli Occupied Lebanon, and to support the UNSC resolution 1559, within our mission mandate."

With that mission I would expect their command to recall them once full scale combat broke out between Israel and Hezbollah/Lebanon. Instead they were left their to "observe". Isn't that the same as left to get shot or bombed? Did their command not care or was this what they hoped for. After all unlike UNIFIL this observers are unarmed and if the post is a UNTSO post likely no one there was armed.

Why in the world would you leave unarmed men in a combat zone? He is quoted as saying "It appears that the lion's share of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah has taken place in our area." Surely they reported this to their command structure? If so, again why would their commander leave them in the principle hot zone in a major combat effort?

If their mission was to monitor the cease fire/truce and that had obviously ended, why keep them in the field?


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