The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said Irish troops serving on a peacekeeping mission in the Golan Heights must not be dragged into the civil war in Syria.
Al Qaida-linked Syrian rebels holding 45 Fijian peacekeepers hostage have issued a set of demands for their release, an official said today.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney has said that Irish troops deployed as part of the UN mission in the disputed Golan Heights will not be replaced unless the mission is reviewed.
Syrian rebels holding dozens of Fijian UN peacekeepers hostage have attacked Filipino troops in the Golan Heights, Philippine officials said.
Syrian rebels backed by al-qaida have seized a border crossing in a region where 130 Irish troops will be deployed next month.
An independent United Nations commission has said the Syrian government is likely to have used chlorine gas to attack civilians.
Sixteen people, including three civilians, have been killed in air strikes by the Syrian army against an eastern town which was captured by fighters from an al Qaida breakaway group a day earlier, according to activists.
More than 50 million people had been forced from their homes worldwide at the end of last year, the United Nations refugee agency has said.
Syrian president Bashar Assad has declared a general amnesty for prisoners in the country, state media reported.