Israel Evacuates Syria's 'White Helmets' to Jordan

Israel Evacuates Syria's 'White Helmets' to Jordan

Israel Evacuates Syria's 'White Helmets' to Jordan

Hassoun branded the White Helmets group "terrorists" and squarely blamed them for the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Over the last month, Syrian government forces aided by Russian air power have swept through southwestern Syria to consolidate government control over this strategic corner of the country that straddles the border with Jordan and the frontier with Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The unprecedented operation was spearheaded by the US, Canada, and UK.

Hundreds of rebel fighters and their families arrived Saturday in northwestern Syria after their evacuation from a southern province under a deal with the regime.

Founded in 2013, the Syria Civil Defence, or White Helmets, works to rescue those wounded by attacks in rebel-held territory.

A military source said in a statement to Syrian news agency SANA that a "military site in Masyaf in Hama countryside was targeted by an Israeli aerial aggression, causing only material damage".

How was it carried out?

The plan had been to evacuate 800 White Helmets and their families, but only 422 made it. They were in imminent danger after Syrian armed forces advanced on their area.

Germany's interior minister confirmed the country would give asylum to eight rescuers and 39 family members.

"I appreciated the words that were spoken by President Putin together with President Trump regarding the security of Israel during the recent summit", Netanyahu said after the meeting, in remarks relayed by his office.

The Syrian government has condemned a multilateral operation to evacuate hundreds of rescue workers from the war-torn country as a "criminal process" meant to destabilise Syria.

Israel Evacuates Syria's 'White Helmets' to Jordan

The incident came after Israel earlier this month, twice in the same week, fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that approached the country's border from Syria.

According to Jordan's official Petra state news outlet, the evacuees included 800 White Helmets personnel and their families.

The White Helmet volunteers and their families will be held in a "restricted area" of Jordan and assessed by the United Nations, pending resettlement.

The unnamed official said the cooperation of the U.S., Britain, Jordan, Germany and Canada also implicates them in supporting the group.

The Government said the United Kingdom would provide protection to "as numerous volunteers and their families as possible".

USA officials said the volunteers at the border were likely to be targeted by the government advance.

Since its formation, when Syria's conflict was nearing its third year, more than 250 of its volunteers have been killed.

After the meeting, the White Helmets members still in Syria were told their only option was to be bussed north to opposition-controlled territory under a surrender deal.

All are volunteers who had different occupations before the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011 spiraled into full-blown civil war.

"It's our country and we have a right to live in it in safety", he said, however adding he was among a minority who wished to remain.

Congress Open To Prime Minister From Allies In 2019, Say Top Sources
The sources said if grand alliances in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar work out fine, then it will be hard for Modi. He said Chidambaram stated during the meeting that at best the Congress could contest 150 seats.

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