Published March 01, 2013
ZAGREB, Croatia – Croatia's president says he is withdrawing some 100 peacekeeping troops from the Syria-Israel border after reports that Syrian rebels have been armed with Croatian weapons.
The government fears its troops could become targets for Syrian government soldiers fighting the rebels.
President Ivo Josipovic said Friday the security situation in the Golan Heights has changed and the safety of the Croatian soldiers serving in the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force is jeopardized.
Croatian officials deny reports by local media and The New York Times that arms, including machine guns, rifles and anti-tank grenades used in the Balkan wars in the 1990s, have reached Syrian rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic says despite official denials, "everyone has read those reports and our soldiers are no longer safe."