Israel evacuates ‘White Helmets’ from Syria border

It also said that the site "was targeted by an Israeli aerial aggression in an attempt to cover up for the collapse of terrorist organizations in Daraa and Quneitra", referring to the recent surrender of rebels in Syria's long-running civil war.

Jordan's foreign ministry announced in a statement that the kingdom received 422 Syrian nationals for resettlement in Britain, Germany and Canada.

The evacuation was facilitated by Israeli forces, who ferried some 422 volunteers and family members to Jordan after granting them access to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Hunt described the White Helmets as "the bravest of the fearless", adding that "in a desperate situation this is at least one ray of hope".

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they were acting on a request from the United States, the UK and other European nations.

They were to be transferred to other buses run by local NGOs, before travelling further north to temporary camps in rebel-held areas in Idlib and Aleppo provinces, the monitor said.

Israel had originally calculated numbers evacuated at 800, but that figure was revised downwards by former MI5 officer James Le Mesurier, recognized as the founder of the White Helmets which he formed in Turkey in 2013. "We tried by all means, but the roads were not safe", White Helmets member Abu Laith told CNN.

"Too many times we've seen the same child in photographs, year after year, always covered in dust", Hersh said, adding that the White Helmets "do engage in anti-Assad [activities]".

"A group of core countries have committed to resettling a number of White Helmets".


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.

More than 5 million people have fled Syria during its seven-year-long civil war, according to the United Nations.

Islamic State-affiliated forces entrenched in the Yarmouk Basin, which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Jordan, also repelled a ground attack by the Syrian army and its allies, the sources added. "The situation is getting worse by the minute, especially after the batch of White Helmets who have managed to leave yesterday morning, the regime is looking for us".

Its activation came after Israel on two separate occasions this month fired Patriot missiles at incoming drones from Syria.

US officials say the United States is finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces close in on the area. They have reached Jordan, thank God.

Close to one million Syrians are registered with the U.N.'s refugee agency in Lebanon. Some 300,000 have been displaced by the fighting, with only a few thousands opting for evacuation to Idlib, which is expected to be the target of the next government offensive. Despite the evacuation effort, hundreds remain in Syria.

"It seems like simple moral math to me that when the uprising fails, they should try to get their guys out alive, with their families", he told AP in an email.

The Syrian government is unlikely to fire there or carry out air strikes for fear of an Israeli response. The area houses several defense ministry facilities.


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