Israel Assists Syrian 'White Helmets' and Families Flee to Jordan

Israel Assists Syrian 'White Helmets' and Families Flee to Jordan

Israel Assists Syrian 'White Helmets' and Families Flee to Jordan

"I therefore authorised their transfer via Israel to other countries as an important humanitarian gesture", Netanyahu said.

Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that "Canada, working in close partnership with the United Kingdom and Germany, has been leading an worldwide effort to ensure the safety of White Helmets and their families".

"The Jordanian government said it had authorised the United Nations to organise the passage of 800 Syrian citizens through Jordan to be resettled in western countries", the kingdom said.

The evacuees will be kept in a "closed" location in Jordan and resettled in Britain, Germany and Canada within three months, the source said.

Israeli media identified the Syrians as belonging to the White Helmets organisation.

The offensive, begun in June, has seen a number of agreements that have led to the evacuation of rebel forces from the Deraa and Quneitra areas to regions further north.

Since the offensive began, Jordan said it will not open its borders to the newly displaced Syrians.

The White Helmets have been the target of a disinformation campaign by Syrian and Russian regime propaganda outlets, with false claims of having close ties with terrorist activities, including blaming them for Syrian and Russian chemical attacks on civilians.

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Some 422 volunteers and family members were taken to Jordan via the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight.

Jordan agreed to a request by Britain, Germany and Canada to give the White Helmet workers temporary asylum until they can be settled in western countries on humanitarian grounds, the spokesman said.

Muhannad, a member of the White Helmets in southwestern Syria who was unable to reach Quneitra as part of the evacuation, told The National that around 260 civil defence workers left in the evacuation, alongside relatives that brought the number to around 500 in total.

A former resident in touch with relatives said thousands of civilians had fled bombed villages to areas held by the army or the rebels. They also became witnesses to the numerous war crimes committed by Syrian President Bashar Assad and the Russian military as both deliberately targeted civilian structures in bombing raids.

The announcement marked the first such Israeli intervention in Syria's civil war, now in its eight year.

Netanyahu held talks with Putin in Moscow on July 11 amid Israeli concern that Assad, an old foe, may defy a 1974 demilitarization deal on the Golan or allow his Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies to deploy there.

The United States and other Western governments have funded their work, and a Netflix film, "The White Helmets", won an Academy Award past year for best short documentary.

The English paper omitted that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have delivered large amounts of humanitarian aid to the refugees and are transferring wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals.

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