Thais living in Israel urged to stay alert

ACM Wallop Raksanoh, secretary-general of the National Security Council, seen here with staff, advises that the military strikes against Syria provide little cause for concern in Thailand. (Screen grab via ThaiPBS)

The Foreign Ministry has urged Thai people in Israel to stay alert after the conflict in Syria, which came under military strikes by the United States and allies before dawn on Saturday, saying they need to keep tabs on local authorities' advice.

According to a warning issued Sunday, the ministry called on Thais, particularly those living in the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, which borders Syria, and nearby areas, to follow up the news about Syria's conflicts closely.

If they hear sirens, they need to be cautious and comply with local authorities' advice, the ministry said.

Anyone who needs help in relation to the issue can either contact the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv through its Facebook page or the Department of Consular Affairs, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the National Security Council (NSC) chief Wanlop Raksanoh said security officers are keeping track of Syria's conflicts.

Saturday's attacks led to a small number of casualties since the US zeroed in on chemical weapon research facilities, he said. Strikes are unlikely to widen so as to ward off the impact on civilians, Gen Wanlop said.

The strikes nevertheless would have consequences to the world since superpowers engage in the conflict, he said, adding some economic impacts would be inevitable as Syria is a major oil producer while investors in the stock market could feel jittery by the incident.

Gen Wanlop said further assessments will be made. If tensions escalate, Thailand, which is a United Nations member, must comply with international laws.

He said Thailand disagrees with resorting to violent methods to deal with the problem and wants both sides to exercise restraint.

People should "not be too much worried about it", Gen Wanlop said.

Thai workers in Israel could be affected by the conflicts but the Thai embassy and the Foreign Ministry are ready to take care of them, he said.

He said he disagreed with the use of chemical weapons, which apparently goes against the international laws since this causes mass destruction and loss of life.

Security officers are keeping tabs on the situation at the behest of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, he said.

No other orders have been given yet apart from closely monitoring the situation, he said.

If the situations are turning critical, the UN could hold an emergency meeting to find ways to address the problem, while requests can be lodged by members to organise the event, Gen Wanlop said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon is scheduled to visit the US from April 21-26, when he is due to meet his US counterparts in the Pentagon.

Gen Wanlop said it remains unclear whether the situation in Syria would also be raised in the meeting, which had been arranged before the US-led air strikes took place.


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