The Russian Foreign Ministry continues its campaign aimed at pressuring the White Helmets over their Israeli-assisted evacuation from southern Syria. The group, which is accused of being a media arm of radical militants in Syria, is facing hard times as the militant-held area in the war-torn country [the White Helmets operate only there] is crumbling.
The Russian state-run news agency TASS reports (source):
The flight of White Helmets members from Syria following an amnesty declared by Damascus proves they fear that their crimes might be further exposed, Russia’s Permanent Mission to the European Union said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The mere fact that those would-be humanitarian activists, pretending to work for the sake of the Syrian people, had to be ‘rescued’ from their own country, notably following an amnesty declared by the Syrian Government, suggests that the White Helmets” had reasons to fear that their crimes might be furthermore exposed,” the statement reads.
According to the Russian mission, “the unprecedented operation organized to help them flee the country proves that their Western sponsors were eager to prevent possible disclosure of the notorious provocative activities by the White Helmets”.
“The above mentioned persons are reportedly going to be hosted by a number of countries, including several EU Member States. This is not surprising, given that this organization is financed through funds closely linked to European and other Western governments and business circles,” the statement adds.
“In this regard we should remind that this so-called NGO was founded in 2014 by a former British military officer James Le Mesurier and promoted by the British company Syrian Campaign linked to the Breakthrough Media agency, known for having established more than 70 pseudo-humanitarian structures in terrorist-controlled regions of Syria,” the Russian mission pointed out. “The White Helmets were behind the most outrageous media provocations which later on led to real loss of life of civilians. They have been directly involved in terrorist activities and produced fake news impersonating victims of invented chemical attacks. Mounting evidence to that effect has been persistently recorded by a number of journalists, including those from CNN,” the statement said.
“We are appalled by any attempts to shape a positive image for the White Helmets. Such irresponsible approach is only endangering our common security in the face of global terrorist threat,” the Russian mission to the EU concluded.
White Helmets’ flight from Syria
On July 22, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Twitter that Israel had evacuated White Helmets members and their families from Syria at the request of the US, Canada and some European countries. Israel’s Galei Tzahal radio station said that 800 people had been taken to Jordan from southern Syria, where government forces continued an operation against opposition units.
Damascus believes that the White Helmets are linked to the Jabhat al-Nusra terror organization (outlawed in Russia) and act in its interests.
The United States has been funding the White Helmets since 2013, providing more than $33 mln to them.