World

Hopes dim that Philippine peacekeepers can be deployed back to Golan in the near future

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivers his speech during ceremonies for the turnover of the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines. Aquino says he's been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that U.N. peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III delivers his speech during ceremonies for the turnover of the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines. Aquino says he's been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that U.N. peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)  (The Associated Press)

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III says he's been told security threats on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights are not expected to ease soon, dimming hopes that U.N. peacekeepers can be deployed back to the region in the near future.

A group of 244 Philippine peacekeepers were recalled and flew back to Manila on Friday, while 84 more were due home Sunday, ending a five-year presence in the Golan.

Aquino said his government was informed by the U.N. assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, Edmond Mulet, that "there is no expectation" that the peacekeepers will be able to deploy back to the Syrian side of the Golan "in the short or mid-term."

The force has patrolled the buffer zone and helped enforce a truce between Syria and Israel since 1974.