The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have announced the evacuation of more than 800 members of the White Helmets, also know as ‘Al-Qaeda’s humanitarian wing’, to Jordan.
Israeli forces evacuated the White Helmets from Syria at the request of the United States, Canada and “additional European countries” according to the IDF and the Israeli PM.
The civilians were evacuated from the war zone in Southern Syria due to an immediate threat to their lives. The transfer of the displaced Syrians through Israel is an exceptional humanitarian gesture
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 22, 2018
Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Israel to evacuate the members of the controversial Western-backed White Helmets group from Syria.
In a video address on Sunday he said: “President Trump and also Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, as well as others, requested us to help take out from Syria hundreds of White Helmets members”
Several days ago @POTUS Trump contacted me, as did @CanadianPM Trudeau and others, and requested that we assist in evacuating hundreds of ‘White Helmets’ from Syria. These are people who have saved lives and whose lives were in danger. pic.twitter.com/mGzFCvPe1X
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 22, 2018
The White helmets will be resettled later in the UK, Canada, and Germany, according to statements from Tel Aviv and Amman.
Press TV reports: The Israeli military said the “civilians” were being taken out of Syria “due to an immediate threat to their lives,” and because Israel wanted to make “an exceptional humanitarian gesture.”
Admitting to the operation later on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the operation was an “important humanitarian step,” adding that he ordered it after requests from US President Donald Trump and Canadian premier Justin Trudeau.
Syria is reportedly about to prosecute the self-styled relief workers over reports of their involvement with the militants and the gas attacks.
The US, the UK, and France have launched many missile strikes against the Syrian territory, accusing Damascus of deploying such weapons. The Syrian government has surrendered its chemical arms stockpiles during a procedure overseen by the United Nations’ chemical watchdog.
Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Mohammad al-Kayed said Amman had accepted to take in the White Helmets after Britain, Canada and Germany each reportedly pledged to take some of them each, Amman-based Ammon News said.
The news about the Israeli involvement came amid Tel Aviv’s ongoing provision of assistance to the militants fighting the Syrian government.
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