Published: Thu, July 26, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Israel Helps Rescue Humanitarian Workers From Syria

Israel Helps Rescue Humanitarian Workers From Syria

The statement, however, did not mention the group by name at the time, but German tabloid Bild said some 800 members of the "White Helmets" were expected to be brought to Jordan through Israel to be reportedly resettled later in the UK, Canada, and Germany.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a joint statement with the International Development Secretary that the "brave and selfless" volunteers required "immediate protection".

Who are the White Helmets?

Netanyahu, in broadcast remarks, said he would tell the envoys that "Israel insists on the separation of forces agreement between us and Syria being honored, as they were honored for decades until the civil war in Syria broke out".

Mr Hunt and Penny Mordaunt said in a joint statement: "Following a joint diplomatic effort by the United Kingdom and worldwide partners, a group of White Helmets volunteers from southern Syria and their families have been able to leave Syria for safety".

The total number of people could be over 200, almost half of the Syrians evacuated into Jordan on Sunday.

Israel at the weekend played a critical role in rescuing hundreds of humanitarian workers and their families trapped in southern Syria.

However, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and his allies - including Russian Federation - have said they see the White Helmets as proxies of Islamist-led insurgents and Western-sponsored propaganda tools.

It added that the White Helmets supported "terrorists" and that the world had been warned of the group's "dangers", according to Syria's state news agency Sana.

Cesar says he learned of the operation a few days ago "by chance", but when he contacted White Helmets leadership, they told him it was too late to register to leave.

Air strikes by regime ally Russian Federation, meanwhile, on a southern jihadist holdout killed six civilians, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

On Saturday, more than 400 rescuers and their family members were evacuated from Syria's Quneitra province through Israel to Jordan, after the rebels surrendered the last areas they held in the southwestern province to the government.

More than 5 million people have fled Syria during its seven-year-long civil war, according to the United Nations. The evacuation came as thousands of other Syrians have massed along the border with the Golan Heights, as Syrian forces continue airstrikes nearby. "Yesterday's evacuation through Israel only made things worse".

"Jordan is willing and encouraging the return when tension calms down because the refugees constitute a heavy burden on the kingdom in the light of the worldwide community's inability to cover the costs", she said. Despite the evacuation effort, hundreds remain in Syria.

Israel, concerned that Iran's growing presence in Syria poses a threat to its security, has escalated in recent months its strikes on suspected Iranian and Iran-backed positions in Syria. "Had the worldwide community done this much earlier and also offered safe haven to the rebel leaders they've been backing, they could have helped get irreconcilables out of the equation and reduce the amount of killing and destruction".

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