White Helmets, anti-Assad volunteers, helped by Israel to flee to Jordan and the West
At least 422 people, volunteers and their families, have been transferred to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan area. Hence the fugitives will be relocated to several Western countries: Germany, Great Britain, Canada. The White Helmets are trained and supported by the United States and other Western countries. In 2016, they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But Syria and Russia accuse them of being supporters of the rebels and of also having ties with the jihadist groups.
Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Israeli army has carried out a "humanitarian" operation helping the escape of a group of white helmets from the Syrian area of Quneitra, in the south-west of the country. At least 422 people, volunteers and their families, have been transferred to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan area. From here the fugitives will be relocated to several Western countries: Germany, Great Britain, Canada,...
The White Helmets define themselves as a group of volunteers who act to save people in the war zones in Syria. They claim to be neutral and to help everyone. But in reality they only work in the rebel controlled areas.
Syria and Russia accuse them of being supporters of the rebels and of also having ties with the jihadist groups.
In 2016, the volunteers were nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. But Damascus and Moscow accused them of sometimes staging the rescue of children and bogus chemical attacks to blame Assad.
The rescue of the group by the Israeli army is an exceptional event. The Israeli army and Prime Minister Benjiamin Netanyahu declared that they acted at the request of the United States, Britain and other European nations and that this gesture does not undermine Israel's neutrality towards the war in Syria. In fact, Tel Aviv aircraft have often intervened in Syria to target Syrian and Hezbollah military bases.
The Jordanian government has confirmed that it has authorized "authorised the United Nations to organise the passage of 800 Syrian citizens through Jordan to be resettled in Western countries".
"Britain, Germany and Canada made a legally binding undertaking to resettle them within a specified period of time due to 'a risk to their lives'."
The White Helmets have always received support and training from the United States and other Western countries. They are about 3 thousand volunteers and claim to have saved the lives of at least 100 thousand people during the Syrian war. At least 200 of them died in service. Syrian state TV al-Ikhbariya called the evacuation a “scandal.” The State News Agency SANA said “the secret” of the group had been revealed and their “role as an agent ended".