Syria Current Affairs

Major General Jai Shanker Menon appointed as UNDOF head

Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India has been appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

He was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and succeeds Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal.

In his new role, Maj Gen Menon brings his extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping affairs at the international and national levels.

About Major General Jai Shanker Menon

  • Prior to this appointment, Maj. Gen. Menon was serving as Additional Director General (ADG) Equipment Management in the Indian Army.
  • He has held number of command positions in the Indian Army. Earlier from 2012 to 2013, he had served as General Officer Commanding (GOC) of an Infantry Division.
  • He also has served as Commandant of Regimental Training Centre, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander.
  • At the international level in the United Nations, he had served as a Military Observer in the UN Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) in 1993 and UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) from 2007 to 2009.

About United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF)

  • The UNDOF was established in 1974 by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) following the agreed disengagement of Syrian and Israeli forces in the Golan Heights.
  • Since then, UNDOF has remained in the area to maintain the ceasefire between Syrian and Israeli forces and to supervise the implementation of the disengagement agreement.

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UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution on Syria peace plan

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a resolution No. 2254 outlining a peace process in Syria.

The resolution endorses an international roadmap for a Syria peace process to end Syria’s five-year-long civil war.

Key facts

  • The resolution endorses formal talks on a political transition between the President Bashar al-Assad led Syrian government and opposition in early January 2016.
  • Calls for implementation of a ceasefire in parallel with the talks on a political transition.
  • Offensive and defensive actions against such terrorist groups in Syria such as ISIS will continue.
  • Calls for establishment of credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance in Syria within six months.
  • Free and fair elections to be held in Syria under UN supervision within 18 months.

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Britain launches airstrikes against IS-controlled oil fields in Syria

Britain has launched airstrikes against Islamic State (IS)-controlled oil fields in Syria after parliamentarians in the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for military action.

In this regard, a motion for voting was forwarded in the House of Commons and it received 397 members votes including 66 opposition Labour member in favour of it.

After the support of Parliament, British warplanes of Royal Air Force conducted six strikes against IS-controlled Omar oil fields in Syria from its base in Akrotiri, Cyprus.

The ruling government of Britain has taken this decision in lines with the resolution2249 (2015) passed by United National Security Council (UNSC). The resolution had called on all nations to re-double and co-ordinate their collection action to prevent further attacks by IS and other extremist groups.

United States has welcomed the vote by the British Parliament as it would more teeth to the global anti-terror coalition forces to fight IS militants and expand their strategy to defeat terrorist group. Russia also has welcomed Britain’s decision as it aimed at combating terrorism and the fight against IS.

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