Austria Withdraws its Peacekeepers from the Golan Heights

The Austrian government has ordered the withdrawal of its peacemakers on the 6th June from the Golan Heights. The decision came only two hours of reflection. This ended its 39-year engagement in the area.

Austria pulled out the 380 UN peacekeepers through an official statement. The statement said that "continuing deterioration of the situation in the area" was a reason behind the withdrawal. UN troops had experienced increasing spill-over from the conflict in Syria over few months. Mortars were reported to have hit the Israeli-controlled parts of the Golan Heights.

Syrian rebels took control over the strategically important Quneitra border crossing between Syria and Israeli-controlled territory. The seizure was for a short period of time, but it questioned high possibility of the IDF crossing over into Syrian territory to secure Israel's border.

Now, it seems to be the major reason for leading Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann to call for the withdrawal of Austrian troops. Austria is withdrawing its troops from the Golan after four decades of peacekeeping in the area. The area was occupied by Israel in the 6-day war in 1967.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force was established in 1974 for the purpose of peacekeeping in the demilitarized border area between Israel and Syria.