France refuses to recognize Israel’s role in Syrian rescue mission

France refuses to recognize Israel’s role in Syrian rescue mission

France refuses to recognize Israel’s role in Syrian rescue mission

For years the volunteers, officially called the Syria Civil Defense and famous for their white hard hats, have rushed to save civilians trapped in the rubble caused by airstrikes from Syrian warplanes. "Help us and save our lives".

Netanyahu has also pledged to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria, where Tehran is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in his country's civil war.

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

Syrian news agency SANA reported on Sunday evening that an Israeli air strike had hit a military area in Syria's Hama province.

Israel evacuated 800 members of the White Helmets and their families from southwestern Syria to Jordan overnight, army radio said Sunday.

The Syrian government and Russian Federation have labelled the White Helmets as foreign "agents" and have accused them of staging scenes of alleged chemical weapons attacks.

The Syrian regime, along with its allies, Russian Federation and Iran, has directly targeted selfless relief workers, including the estimated 3,000 White Helmet volunteers, using people's need for health care as a weapon against them.

The source accused Israel of "helping terrorist organisations either through direct interference or by providing them with logistic support, weapons and intelligence".

On Saturday, Jordan's Foreign Ministry said it has allowed the United Nations to organize the passage of some 800 White Helmets members for humanitarian reasons.

"The White Helmets have saved over 115,000 lives during the Syrian conflict, at great risk to their own", Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, and Penny Mordaunt, the U.K.'s worldwide development secretary said in a joint statement.

While the Israeli army was busy saving the lives of 800 members of the Syrian rescue organization "White Helmets" this weekend, the Russian-Iranian-backed Assad regime forces mercilessly pounded the last pockets of resistance in the Yarmouk Basin.

"We are glad that these ‎brave volunteers, who have saved thousands of lives, are now out of harm's way", the US State Department said of the White Helmets.

The ministry's spokesman Mohammed al-Kayed said the Syrians would remain in Jordan for three months.

"Several days ago, U.S. President Trump contacted me, as did Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and others, and requested that we assist in evacuating hundreds of White Helmets from Syria", Netanyahu said in Hebrew during an online address.

They include journalists, first responders, and civilians who also fear retaliation by the Syrian government and have no guarantees of protection.

Despite the intervention, the IDF said Israel "continues to maintain a non-intervention policy regarding the Syrian conflict and continues to hold the Syrian regime accountable for all activities in Syrian territory".

The group has been financed by public donations, as well as funding from foreign governments.

The White Helmet members and their families will be held in a "restricted area" of Jordan. The U.N. refugee body praised Jordan's move to give them temporary sanctuary.

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