Russian Foreign Ministry Slams UNHCR For Involvement In Evacuating White Helmets From Southern Syria

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During a weekily press briefing on August 15, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented on reports on the involvement of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in evacuating from Syria a group of the White Helmets.

Zakharova criticized the UNHC for the support provided to the organization, which “under the pretence of working for a humanitarian organisation, actually served as a tool in the information and propaganda warfare waged by a number of countries in Syria”.

FULL STATEMENT (source):

The Foreign Ministry took note of media reports on the involvement of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in evacuating from Syria a large group of the infamous White Helmets, who under the pretence of working for a humanitarian organisation, actually served as a tool in the information and propaganda warfare waged by a number of countries in Syria, including by relying on illegal armed groups and would-be humanitarian organisations.

It is unfortunate that the UNHCR confirmed its involvement on its official website.

By doing so, the UN body supported the false narrative on these While Helmets promoted by the Western media and officials, misrepresenting them as genuine and fearless humanitarian workers.

But how come these fearless humanitarian workers need to be evacuated from Syria? Why can’t the White Helmets stay there as peace returns to cities and communities? How come the White Helmets are not there to distribute bread rations or to restore medical aid stations and civilian infrastructure? Have they thought about Syrian children who have to go to school, and what are civilians supposed to do? What happened to their commitment to the humanitarian cause? As a matter of fact, it never existed to begin with. All the White Helmets did was contribute to fake stories, in exchange for huge sums of money, on the alleged chemical weapons attacks, and helped spread this propaganda online. They alleged that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its own people. That is all there is to it. That is what all these would-be humanitarian efforts were all about.

Considering that the UNHCR is a high-profile and respected international institution, we would like to draw the attention of its representatives that they need to show a greater sense of responsibility in their actions and avoid steps that could not only hurt the reputation of this international organisation, but most importantly affect UN’s role in addressing major humanitarian tasks, including in Syria.

We would like to reiterate that the White Helmets are experts at provocation and disinformation who spread fake information under the guise of humanitarian work. In fact, they have colluded with the most dangerous terrorist groups with a mission to malign and undermine counter-terrorist efforts undertaken by the Syrian government with Russia’s assistance.

The White Helmets were behind a series of cynical fake stories that were concocted to prevent stabilisation in Syria and consequently making it impossible to address humanitarian needs, including assisting refugees.

Having the UNHCR provide any kind of assistance to the provocative undertakings of the White Helmets is a grave mistake, at best.

We call on the Office to act in strict compliance with its mandate, avoid any political bias and abide by the humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, humaneness and impartiality in their work, as well as focus on maximising international efforts to facilitate the voluntary return of Syrian refugees, which is currently the main objective. It is interesting that international agencies and the international community are working on the evacuation of the White Helmets at a time when life is returning to normal in Syria. But when it comes to helping civilians and refugees who want to return to Syria, many are those who take a step back or say that it would be unsafe. What an interesting story. When civilians were in Syria and multiple regional and Western powers sponsored fighters, they were not in danger, but now having people voluntarily return to their homeland is viewed as being unsafe. This is absurd, but facts speak for themselves.

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  • Tudor Miron

    Well said Maria.

    • jorge

      Very well, Maria, come to hollydays in a little garden planted just next to the sea, if you are single, in this life.

      • Tudor Miron

        Nah, I don’t :)

        • jorge

          Thanks, there’s no problem.

      • You can call me Al

        Maria is already busy. She is just showering and then we are out to dinner. I’ll pop in the shower and tell her you offer though.

        Stay away sunshine.

  • Concrete Mike

    The hypocricy is laughable…except my taxes are paying for these mutts. Guess i wont pay my taxes. Take me to court CRA i dare you.

    • jorge

      Mike, as you are concrete, be cool and try to begin a real opposition party in US.

      • Concrete Mike

        Concrete needs heat to gain all its strength.cyring is an exothermic reaction…as long as its below 50 degrees C. And im also canadian so i cant really do much for us policy. But i am chirping the local politician whenever i see him at hockey…

    • Ivan Freely

      Won’t pay your taxes? What are you going to tell the sales clerk? The price you see at the register already includes tax.

  • Ronald

    With Saudi Arabia chairing the UNHCR, it is no real surprise that they have facilitated the evacuation of their Wahhabi public relations team. No neutrality, but a lot of money.

    • You can call me Al

      Exactly. I was more surprised by people being surprised.

    • Ivan Freely

      The UNHCR, and the UN to a larger extent, have lost all credibility. Time to walk away from this organization.

  • Hisham Saber

    The U.N. is a talk shop that needs urgent reform, or shut down. Its where Zionism is peddled to the highest bidder. When the Zionists say jump, they all jump, but for Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, and a few others.

    Israel is in blatant violation of 70 U.N. Resolutions, not to mention all civil norms and conventions. And nothing is done about it. What U.N. Please.

  • frankly

    Justice is dead. The criminals are now heroes and their victims lives were taken to brainwash walking dead. A lot of people speak openly of the travesty that Weapons of Mass Destruction turned into over Iraq.

    In future the White Helmets will be the symbol of what befell Syria. After years of Hollywood movies, most westerners have lost the discernment to know reality from fiction. The irony is the true evil of white helmets is now being exported to US and Canada. Where more innocents will surely learn the truth and their stupid parents wake up in a nightmare of their own making.