Israel Evacuates 800 White Helmets in Face of Syria Advance

SCD clearing rubble following an attack in Maarat al-Nu’man in November 2014.

(From The Guardian)

Israel has evacuated more than 800 members of the volunteer Syrian civil defence forces known as the White Helmets to Jordan, with Amman claiming it had struck a deal for them to be resettled in the UK, France and Canada.

The Israeli operation was undertaken at the request of London, Paris and Ottawa, the UK’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said in a joint statement.

Jordan had been refusing entry to refugees crossing the border from Syria, even though many were under from a joint Syrian-Russian air and ground offensive, saying its refugee camps were already full.

The Israeli military said that overnight it had completed “a humanitarian effort to rescue members of a Syrian civil organisation and their families … due to an immediate threat to their lives”.

It said the US had also requested the operation.

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